Threadshitting and Intolerance January 15, 2015 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I really enjoyed the link in this post and was looking forward to the discussion of comics, their depictions of women, choices that are kid-friendly, etc. I did not feel like this post was framed in an inflammatory way or that it was posted as outrage filter.

This comment, though, soured the thread early on and, in my opinion, changed the tenor of the entire thread for the worst. It's an incredibly bad faith reading of the subject matter laced with deliberately inflammatory wording, and it was made less than an hour after the thread went up. Why wasn't it deleted as threadshitting?

Usually, the (appropriate) response would be for anyone who finds a post not worth their time to skip that thread. Why is mocking the author for not being enlightened enough okay here?

I can't see how anyone could argue that this approach is conducive to productive discussion.
posted by misha to Etiquette/Policy at 11:29 AM (522 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

The article was about how enlightened the author had become. Talking about how he wasn't actually all the enlightened seems very much on topic.
posted by jaguar at 11:32 AM on January 15, 2015 [56 favorites]


Why wasn't it deleted as threadshitting?

I think the first line of the comment is jokey and I'm not a fan of ironic humor that can cloud an otherwise good point, but the rest of the comment is a legitimate frustration one can feel after reading the article and seemed like a real response. It doesn't read like an insta-delete to me, though later on we asked people to tone down the ironic jokes in response to it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:32 AM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm a dad with young daughters (and sons!) who is certainly going through the same process, and I noticed this, too. But instead of FIAMO, I just bailed on the thread. Whether that makes me cowardly or lazy or what, I dunno.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:34 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


The thread was soured for me when I read the line about locking his daughter up until menopause in the linked article.

I think that the linked comment was a little harsh, but totally understandable. It seemed to come from a place of exhaustion with having to be nice to guys who want to talk to you about their feminist enlightenment using language that's offensive and hurtful.

That article was about feminism. Of course we were going to talk about feminism in the comments.

Note: I also wanted to talk about comics! Lots of people seem to be doing that, too.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:34 AM on January 15, 2015 [51 favorites]


It's not threadshitting to have legitimate complaints about the subject of an FPP. And frankly, I'm sick to death of being told that the refusal to celebrate, without reservation, one dude's tiny little step into realizing what women experience in the world as being mean or rude.
posted by agregoli at 11:38 AM on January 15, 2015 [138 favorites]


FWIW, misha, I agree with you.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:39 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's an incredibly bad faith reading of the subject matter

That was completely good-faith. It took the article's premises and pointed out where she disagreed with the guy's position. Disagreement is not bad faith.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:40 AM on January 15, 2015 [101 favorites]


To rephrase and expand a little:

If a guy says to me: "I'm appalled by the wage gap between men and women, it's unfair and we should be doing more to stop it! Women are just going to blow all their money on clothes and jewelry, but that doesn't mean we should pay them less!"

Then I get to decide whether and how I'm going to react to the ridiculously sexist thing that he included in his statement. If I'm feeling extremely charitable, I might choose to ignore it and try to continue the conversation in a light, positive way that affirms his feelings of being a Good Person.

But if I say, "Dude, that last part was sexist and gross," I am not the one being a jerk. I have not let down the Feminist Cause by discouraging this fragile new ally. I'm a human woman who didn't feel like being extra special indulgent on that particular day.

This article put me in basically that same place, is what I'm saying.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:40 AM on January 15, 2015 [132 favorites]


It's an incredibly bad faith reading of the subject matter laced with deliberately inflammatory wording

And calling an honest disagreement with the subject matter with valid points "intolerance" and "threadshitting" is...what, exactly?
posted by zombieflanders at 11:45 AM on January 15, 2015 [48 favorites]


When you said you were making a meta, I actually assumed it would be more intellectually honest than this. Your problem is clearly not with mod deletion policy. It's with the views presented. So go ahead and say that.
posted by naju at 11:48 AM on January 15, 2015 [38 favorites]


Just to be perfectly clear, can you clarify that you do now understand the correct actual meaning of the phrase "acting in bad faith" and are not operating under a misconception of its common use? IIRC that was a problem the last time around.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:48 AM on January 15, 2015 [27 favorites]


Also, a lot of the people vociferously disagreeing with parts of the phrasing and presentation of the article are women who are really into comics, and in addition to pointing out the issues with the original post, went on to share details about awesome comic recommendations, good stores to check out, and so forth. I think that thread is actually a pretty good example of pointing out problems in the original post without descending into a giant argumentative derail.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:49 AM on January 15, 2015 [35 favorites]


An actual bad faith reading of the article would be something like "I don't believe he actually has a daughter, this all seems made up as a just-so story".

But honestly, while that would be a pretty loopy position to take, I don't even think it would be that bad; nothing requires us to take everything we encounter as presented on good faith, and to do so would limit us to believing that humans never lie.

I feel like people do this on mefi all the time, actually; see all the "you won't believe what happened" videos that immediately get comments about being hoaxes/staged.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:51 AM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's a really, really uncharitable comment by NoraReed. There are things I've learned from my kids that wouldn't have made it through my thick skull if an adult had tried to explain them to me. Welcome to the joy of living with kids.

Dude in the article learned something and is now a better person for it. So by all means, yes, let's pile on him and make him seem like a shitty person. Jesus.
posted by jbickers at 11:54 AM on January 15, 2015 [26 favorites]


Whoops, I just sent made a MeTa about this general topic and that specific comment. Guess that's not getting approved, eh mods? :)

Anyway, two comments of mine were deleted from the thread for responding to the linked comment, one for being too snarky, the other for responding to the comment, but the mod being worried the commenter and I would just argue back and forth. Hence the third comment, which was allowed to stand.

Yeah, anybody can feel whatever they want and anyone is up for criticism, no matter the learning steps they're taking. But the comment linked in this MeTa just sounds ridiculously bashy, berating the guy unnecessarily while tossing him in the "asshole misogynistic nerd men" pool.

Doing this sort of thing just seems in poor taste and the site would be better if people focused less on going out of their way to berate the character of others, even if they're being a bit dense.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:57 AM on January 15, 2015 [23 favorites]


It was an uncharitable comment, but I wouldn't say it "soured the thread", unless the two or three people who've expressed that opinion are the only comments you've been reading.

I mean, hey - I understand, if you've got a grudge against someone, everything they say is gonna set your teeth on edge. But that doesn't mean their comments have soured everything for everyone in the thread as well. There are one or two mefites I'll admit I get that way about (none of them in that thread, BTW) and if they comment I'm all "oh gawd, THEM" and it trashes a thread for me - but I'm aware that that's just MY issue, you know?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


That's a really, really uncharitable comment by NoraReed. There are things I've learned from my kids that wouldn't have made it through my thick skull if an adult had tried to explain them to me. Welcome to the joy of living with kids.

I agree with her comment and so do others. I don't think it's uncharitable. Does that guy need charity? It's just mindboggling that , and important to express, how surprising it is and sad it is that he only realized it now. Especially since his daughter is 7 yrs old.
posted by discopolo at 12:00 PM on January 15, 2015 [50 favorites]


Honestly, every time I see some guy post about locking up his daughter, I die a little inside -- and every time that guy also wants to identify as a progressive, feminist kind of dude, I die a little more. I don't think speaking those feelings out loud (or writing them in public, whatever) is in poor taste at all.
posted by KathrynT at 12:01 PM on January 15, 2015 [133 favorites]


Seems like saying someone's honest take on something was going out of their way to be rude is, in itself, doing the same thing. No one tossed the author in any pool.

Ridiculously bashy? Ridiculously? I'm not seeing it.
posted by agregoli at 12:02 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think there's a big difference between coming to a realization and expecting to be applauded for it, though. If he had just come to this realization and maybe talked it over with a few close friends or whatever, that would have been great, but putting it out there as a way that (intentionally or otherwise) says "Look at me! Look at my realization! Me me me!" feels irritating and unhelpful to me. It makes it about him as a man realizing women are people, not about women as people.

When someone writes and article and publishes it, they are presenting themselves in a certain way. I understand that this guy is making progress and that's good, but being asked to celebrate his small amount of recognition that women are people is frustrating. People aren't responding to his realization, they're responding to his article, which is a very different thing.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:04 PM on January 15, 2015 [40 favorites]


That's a really, really uncharitable comment by NoraReed. There are things I've learned from my kids that wouldn't have made it through my thick skull if an adult had tried to explain them to me. Welcome to the joy of living with kids.

Dude in the article learned something and is now a better person for it. So by all means, yes, let's pile on him and make him seem like a shitty person. Jesus.
posted by jbickers at 2:54 PM on January 15 [+] [!]


I much prefer the turn the thread took later to recommending actual good comics for young people to start with and the type of store one might go to find said comics. But I would argue that critiquing the inherent sexism in a piece of writing about overcoming one's own sexism is a valid and necessary discussion to be had.
posted by edbles at 12:05 PM on January 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


The whole "once you have a daughter, you'll understand" stuff is weird to me. Like why is it hard to understand and empathize? I mean, presumable these guys have a mother and a brain and emotions.

It's just hard for me to understand why it's hard for others to understand.
posted by discopolo at 12:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [35 favorites]


That comment didn't derail the thread. I read the linked essay and thought basically the same thing at NoraReed, and came in to say as much but then figured it had already been said more eloquently. I'm sure others did as well.

I don't think I can remember an essay linked on the Blue that wasn't critically examined, by at least someone, especially when it contains common sexist assumptions/tropes. What to you makes this critique different?
posted by likeatoaster at 12:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [40 favorites]


I don't think that being critical of the article in an FPP is threadshitting. NoraReed explained her problem with the article - she has clearly read and processed the article and has thoughts about it. Which it what the comments are for, right?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


Ridiculously bashy? Ridiculously? I'm not seeing it.

That's ok, you don't have to. If you and the general community are fine with members making those sort of comments about the people, then...there you go.

When someone writes and article and publishes it, they are presenting themselves in a certain way. I understand that this guy is making progress and that's good, but being asked to celebrate his small amount of recognition that women are people is frustrating.

Was he asking people to celebrate what he learned?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


My take is that he's posting the article so that other men who are interested in comics might read it and share his revelation, so I don't see it as entirely self-serving, but nonetheless I don't think that criticism that requires actually engaging with the article on a fairly deep level is in any way threadshitting. Threadshitting is what people do when they don't want to engage. An example that would actually be threadshitty would be someone coming in and dropping "meh, all men suck, comics are boring".
posted by capricorn at 12:07 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


No one deserves a cookie for "I'm coming around to your issue, now that it affects me personally." That's still a dismissive thing to say, even if it's progress in the grand scheme.
posted by almostmanda at 12:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [80 favorites]


It's my understanding that the MeFi convention of being civil to each other is not also meant to extend to the authors and/or subjects of linked articles. And if it is, we're all in violation of the rules all the time and should probably just shut down the site.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


I am finding an interesting parallel between this thread and the one on the Tobias Wolff essay on his epiphany over racism.
There seems to be a trend toward these types of revelatory pieces, and the reactions to them run the gamut from "wow that really makes me think" to "fuck you privileged white dude, the fact that you've just woken up to this doesn't mean you deserve a pat on the back" and all of the flavors in between.
It seems to me that the comments that raise the most hackles are the ones that wish they were directed to the actual author of the piece. the community then either piles on, or rushes to the defense, as if the author and his feelings, were actually a part of the discussion, and things seem to go badly from there. not in every case, but often enough to end up with metas like this one.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm still thinking about this.

Nora's comment, if left on the original post, would have come across as kind of unnecessarily jerky and harsh.

I still don't see what the problem is with it being posted here, though.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:11 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, Brandon, I'm fine with all the extremely valid criticisms of this author's article. Hopefully he and others like him will hear those perspectives from Mefi and elsewhere. It's never bad to point out how people can improve upon their life lessons.
posted by agregoli at 12:12 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


What I find disconcerting in some conversations lately is that it is sometimes really, really hard to just admit where you honestly are in your thinking and growth about a social issue without worrying that there's a host sitting in the wings waiting to shame you about where you should be instead. I love rigorous discourse about things that matter. I could do without the smattering of shame that often comes bundled with it as a rhetorical device.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:13 PM on January 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


I don't think NoraReed's comment was in bad faith at all, just more written in a really assholish style.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 12:14 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


He was *shamed*? I mean, this all sounds so dire.
posted by agregoli at 12:14 PM on January 15, 2015 [26 favorites]


I don't think that being critical of the article in an FPP is threadshitting. NoraReed explained her problem with the article - she has clearly read and processed the article and has thoughts about it. Which it what the comments are for, right?

I think this is a great point as well -- if a commenter had come in and said "Well, that was a complete waste of time" or "this is not the Best of the Web" or "I hate this" that would have been a problem, but engaging with the topic and the article as presented, even if you're disagreeing, seems fine.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 12:16 PM on January 15, 2015 [31 favorites]


Let's joke about locking that guy up until people stop being sexist and see how he likes it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:16 PM on January 15, 2015 [34 favorites]


Why wasn't it deleted as threadshitting?

sad trombone.

Maybe Matt should just delete metafilter. That way everyone will be happy.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:17 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


He was *shamed*? I mean, this all sounds so dire.

From the article:

And yet, to all of the women that I know, especially those in the tech scene, I kinda feel like I owe you an apology…because it wasn’t until I took my seven year old daughter to a comic book store this weekend that the universe slapped me upside the head and brought a really serious issue into focus for me…

..

I get it – I didn’t get it.

And I certainly didn’t take it seriously enough.


Yeah, reads to me like he's ashamed of himself.
posted by jbickers at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


It seems to me that the comments that raise the most hackles are the ones that wish they were directed to the actual author of the piece. the community then either piles on, or rushes to the defense, as if the author and his feelings, were actually a part of the discussion, and things seem to go badly from there.

That may be because of a fear that there are other readers in similar positions as the author of the piece, who read the piece and are thinking "yeah, that's actually a good point" and are on the verge of changing their viewpoint, but then they get slapped in the face with a "feh, the author should have known better" and may themselves take that personally as well, and be all "fuck you, you don't know my life" and that window of changing their viewpoint gets slammed shut again.

And yet, I still don't see those critical comments as being deraily.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't think NoraReed's comment was threadshitting and it certainly wasn't in bad faith. She explained exactly what her problem was with it - a problem that many other Mefites have with the linked piece. Hell, she even included the caveat about being glad articles like it exist. That's kind of the opposite of threadshitting.

I fall somewhere on that line as well - I appreciate the piece because it is someone becoming better, however small. I dislike the fact that it seemingly requires parenthood of a girl for him to do it, because that has bad signs for his ability to recognize issues of toxic masculinity for his son, among many other reasons. I hate the creepy women-are-their-dads-property vibe from the joke about locking her up, even while knowing it is a common thing. And I hate that men get listened to with more deference when we talk about feminism.

All of that full well knowing that most of those issues come up for myself as well - I get plaudits for talking feminism - which I will greedily take even though I shouldn't. er, not to make this convo all about men, sorry.

This is just your bog-standard "disagreeing with the article" or "pointing out problems." Threadshitting would be if NoraReed had said something like "who cares about comics anyways?"
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


That's a great point, OHenryPacey

What I find disconcerting in some conversations lately is that it is sometimes really, really hard to just admit where you honestly are in your thinking and growth about a social issue without worrying that there's a host sitting in the wings waiting to shame you about where you should be instead.

Yeah, I'd agree with this, while noting it seems to be where the internet at large is at the moment. But also seems like "normal" human reaction in the sense that we all do it, not that it's good per se.

My larger concern is that the world seems harsher these days, with criticism coming from all corners, about everything. Which is fine in a lot of ways, 'cause there's a ton of stuff that needs to be criticism. But I'm really bothered when people pile on others when they're moving in the right direction, however imperfectly. But probably that's just personal thing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


That's not what I was referring to, and I think you know that. I meant he's being shamed now? Such dramatic language.
posted by agregoli at 12:19 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Actually on a reread of the original comment I don't even think the so-called inflammatory language in NoraReed's original post was directed at the blog author I think it was directed at the only members of his intended audience that his revelatory blog post might be useful for. She was basically saying {the set of men who are nerds and are mysoginist and are assholes} might be more willing to listen to a man.
posted by edbles at 12:21 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why wasn't it deleted as threadshitting?

Because that's not what threadshitting is. Threadshitting is a non-constructive non-engagement with the topic and just posting some drive-by comments that expresses your disapproval. This wasn't that.

I don't always agree with Nora Reed tactically about our feminist viewpoints but her comment was ok to my read. Feminism topics as posts tend to go worse than they should on MeFi and so I'm always tiptoey in them because who has time for the eternal war of all against all in those threads?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:22 PM on January 15, 2015 [49 favorites]


Pretty much every time one of these articles gets posted (this is far from the first time), a comment like NoraReed's happens. Welcome to the background radiation of life on MetaFilter.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:23 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


I was (and still am) on the fence about said article. And despite the vitriol in NoraReed's response, it was a perfectly valid response to have. Yes, this occurs more than I'd like in any space in my life about men who have daughters and all of a sudden, it's "WHOA WAIT WHAT." Better late than never for realization, sure, but it's still sad that sometimes that's what it takes.

Do I think the author of the article is a jerkface? Nope. Not at all. But it's not surprising that it can provoke strong reactions.
posted by Kitteh at 12:26 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


"Welcome to the background radiation of life on MetaFilter.

I for one am glad that so many women actively participate on this site.
posted by likeatoaster at 12:26 PM on January 15, 2015 [101 favorites]


He was *shamed*? I mean, this all sounds so dire.

I'm talking about the general tone of discourse that too often takes the position that there is something wrong with person x because they aren't on the same end of an ideological spectrum, while having little room for people to actually be in process. It's an approach that puts lesser priority on encouraging positive process than scoring rhetorical points about errors.

It is kind of dire, actually, and it's getting increasingly more depressing. It's wrecking a lot of opportunities to have genuine dialogue and connection on the internet. There's certainly a lot of yelling and indignation going on under the guise of tough love and social action though, so I guess we have that going for us.
posted by SpacemanStix at 12:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


> I really enjoyed the link in this post and was looking forward to the discussion of comics, their depictions of women, choices that are kid-friendly, etc

And that's what the thread is: a discussion of comics, their depictions of women, etc. We're also discussing the article that the FPP is based on.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't know. My read of the author of the linked article is that he's not really an ally per se. Which, whatever. If we're going to have any chance at all, we're going to need non-allies to get on board. And this is this guy's way of getting on board, and, sure.

Also, to be frank, I really do think he nailed what it is to be a young girl in a comic shop. I felt that same "That's not Harley Quinn!" frustration when I was first getting into comics as a tween (in re female X-Men characters), and frankly it's been peppered throughout my experience of geek culture as a woman, even up to today. It's not lost on me that the characters who I love for being strong women and interesting characters in their own right often basically amount to wank-fodder for male fans.

And yet, despite the fact that I'm female and have felt this same frustrated disconnect on a daily basis for 33 years, I've never been able to sum up in words what this guy's daughter said in that comic shop. So, sure, good on him for listening and learning and putting it in a blog post that will probably be seen by a bunch of dudes who don't wander through life with a tiny articulate child, on the regular.

But uggghhhhhhhhh I could seriously go the entire rest of my life without ever again hearing the patriarchal joke about locking up daughters. So, no, this dude doesn't get feminist laurels, but nice that he listened and thought and shared with an audience who needs to hear this stuff.
posted by Sara C. at 12:31 PM on January 15, 2015 [31 favorites]


I don't want to discourage people who are in the process of learning empathy, or understanding sexism, or seeing the racism in their own lives and communities, or any number of other things.

But I also don't want to silence people who're talking about their own feelings and experiences of being marginalized or disrespected.

It's a difficult situation.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 12:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [22 favorites]


Pretty much every time one of these articles gets posted (this is far from the first time), a comment like NoraReed's happens. Welcome to the background radiation of life on MetaFilter.

The comments are necessary because of the background radiation of life for women in the actual world.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:35 PM on January 15, 2015 [116 favorites]


I love rigorous discourse about things that matter. I could do without the smattering of shame that often comes bundled with it as a rhetorical device.

But this has a tremendous amount to do with knowing your audience, and knowing what they know about you. If a good friend of mine talked about "locking up his daughter", I would feel honor-bound to get him to unpack that a little and figure out what parts of it are "I really believe I should control my daughter's body" and what parts are "I just didn't think about this" and "I have learned from our culture that this is what you say to perform being a caring father". If I found that he truly believed that he needed to "protect" his daughter from her own body and sexuality, we'd probably be slightly less good friends after that - but in general, I'd expect that my male friends with daughters would not actually be committed to "let's lock up our daughters" and "oh, I don't want my daughter to dress like Mystique*".

But I'd have the patience with that because I know them.

I don't know this dude. His bar is higher. "A-ha-ha cultural garble about locking up your daughters" is thoughtless and cheap, although my take on it was more "see, even though I am mentioning this vaguely feminist idea I am still a regular guy - like you, o reader".

The thing that is so difficult when you're coming from a position of relative privilege - and that I have certainly experienced around race - is the need to really, really smarten up your sense of discourse and your sense of audience. When you're privileged, you're rarely criticized for developing a sort of 'splainy, "I speak for everyone, lol mainstream platititudes" authorial voice, and your assumptions about your audience are rarely questioned, while this is stuff that people writing from a place of not-privilege deal with almost automatically.

It's difficult. And people are going to get mad, and you are going to have to up your game.

I had a good mental shift a couple of months ago where I came to truly accept that the conditions of white supremacy were such that even when I did my best I would still not be getting everything right, and because of how people experience life under white supremacy, sometimes I would Not Get It Right and that would just be too fucking much for people to deal with, even though I was doing my best. And that's just what it is. Sometimes you'll have a powerful personal epiphany and you'll get "I am so not in the mood for this, what do you want, a cookie" and that's just what it is. It's the condition of life in a society structured around major oppression. It's....not anyone's fault. Society has produced you, and you're doing your best to be responsible; society has produced people who have to deal with a lot of oppressive stuff all the time and some of them are just not going to be able to deal with you. It's impersonal almost; it's like a weather pattern.

Women really, truly are not obligated to be nice to nerd men as they sort out the evils of sexism, any more than black people are obliged to be nice to me as I sort out the evils of anti-black racism. The net goal of all this stuff is for everyone to be free and equal, and we're never going to get there if privileged people can't let go of wanting to control the reactions of others. Sometimes people will be nice to me even if I say or do something less than ideal; sometimes they won't. Sometimes I'll be uncomfortable. Sometimes I'll have to accept that some people just aren't going to like me. That's okay.

Privileged identities are fragile identities (there was some kind of metafilter post about "fragile masculinity" earlier in the week, maybe?). But I can't constantly be saying "I can't feel okay about myself unless people of color are all 100% acknowledging that I am the best ally who ever allied"; I have to be surer in my sense of self than that. More, I can't be getting all worked up about getting all people of color ever to be nice to other white people who are Doing Their Best. Which is what I feel is happening here about gender - I feel like folks are getting very invested in getting all women to be nice to "ally" men in order to prop up their own sense of worth as ally men/friends of ally men. We really all need to be more sure in our selfhood than that.

*Which I actually found more gross, because frankly straight comics nerd dude discourse about Mystique, who is blatantly an amazing, radical figure who does what neither Magneto nor Professor X can manage is just skeevy and stupid as hell and basically "look at the naked lady". And honestly, "lock up your daughters" is just mainstream cultural garble that you can pick up without thinking about it, but if you purport to be some kind of skilled comics reader, you should have a smarter read on the X-Men.
posted by Frowner at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2015 [138 favorites]


I don't understand why you don't think that the discussion is not productive. We ARE discussing comics, their depictions of women, choices that are friendly, etc. Also, we're discussing the actual article, which, considering it's a personal essay, is going to include commentary on the author's views.
posted by desuetude at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


What I find disconcerting in some conversations lately is that it is sometimes really, really hard to just admit where you honestly are in your thinking and growth about a social issue without worrying that there's a host sitting in the wings waiting to shame you about where you should be instead. I love rigorous discourse about things that matter. I could do without the smattering of shame that often comes bundled with it as a rhetorical device.

It's not about shaming you about where you should be, it's expressing justified annoyance about how you're handling it, ie Making It All About You. That article absolutely read to me as part of an overall trend lately, the "sensitive New Age guy confession, repetence, absolution (validation)" piece. Personally, I think this trend sucks, they're not as helpful to the actual issues the Sensitive New Age Guys want to think they are, and in the worst cases they're actually part of the dynamic they're trying to rail against. It's a particularly insidious failure mode of ally-dom, because it's just a more subtle way of making the problems of the oppressed or aggrieved "about" those doing the oppression or being horrible. It's just basically a demand for validation, asking the internet to restore a sense of status quo to this guy's image of himself as a good person. But that's bullshit, if you want to make progress as a moral actor, you have to really be open to the idea that you might not automatically be a good person because you're you.

"Productive" and "comfortable" are not synonymous.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 12:38 PM on January 15, 2015 [25 favorites]


Those image macros he posted are pretty awful too. (NSFW-ish) In this one he's like "as a dude, hell yeah this is awesome! As a parent, though..." That's a major insult to men. Like we don't have a capacity to think about this stuff at all until we have a 7 year old daughter. Come on. This one makes his point at the expense of sex workers, while this one seems to have a madonna/whore complex going on. It's like he's taking tentative steps (only because he has a daughter - not a partner or mother or women friends who might have clued him into this for decades, apparently) but getting almost everything wrong in the process. That shouldn't be applauded or celebrated. As mentioned above, if NoraReed didn't post that comment, a dozen others of us would have posted something like it, including me. I thought she covered it perfectly so I didn't bother.
posted by naju at 12:40 PM on January 15, 2015 [67 favorites]


> In this one he's like "as a dude, hell yeah this is awesome! As a parent, though..."

Also he's saying you can't be a dude and a dad at the same time, which is weird.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:45 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Those image macros he posted are pretty awful too. (NSFW-ish) In this one he's like "as a dude, hell yeah this is awesome! As a parent, though..."

That's actually not what the guy wrote, just FYI.

Also he's saying you can't be a dude and a dad at the same time, which is weird.

Well no, sometimes you can't, at least for him. Everyone wears different faces, no reason why this guy (who says a lot of problematic shit) should be any different.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:47 PM on January 15, 2015


Honestly, every time I see some guy post about locking up his daughter, I die a little inside --

This was an article about a guy taking his daughter to a comic store, not some guy locking his daughter up, don't be disingenuous. That was one throwaway line about a shitty joke he made in an entire mea culpa of a post. Many in the thread, including myself, were able to comment on that one line without making sweeping moral judgments about this guy.

We have had discussions here, many times, where someone complains about being called on some -ism and the complainer is told, "Don't be so sensitive. Someone pointing out a racist, sexist, etc. belief you have is not the same as saying you are a racist or sexist. The only way to grow is to figure this stuff out. "

NoraReed's comment throws that charity out the window. I do think it is bad faith to go straight to hyperbolic mischaracterizations which have no basis, and are even contradicted within the article itself, yes.

For instance, that this guy understood nothing about feminism except this one "minuscule part" until now, and strawmen stereotyping of the only beneficiaries of this piece being "asshole misogynistic nerdy men", which belies that whole concept of not judging (entire groups of) people. Words have meaning, and "asshole" is not a neutral word, it is judgmental and inflammatory.

That the comment was favorited by so many is depressing; I hope some were at least bookmarking it as an egregious example of sexist rhetoric.
posted by misha at 12:48 PM on January 15, 2015 [26 favorites]


Note: I also wanted to talk about comics! Lots of people seem to be doing that, too.


Yup - I've been talking about comics, and the presence of norareed's comment has not prevented me from doing this at all.

So, as a data point, it is possible for discussion of comics to exist alongside expressions of frustration!

And, since misha's argument in the thread was that this was not possible - that she had come into the thread to talk about comics, but now could not - I think this MeTa is based on a misunderstanding.

It's totally possible.

We cool? Cool.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


You can't Tip a Buick's quote particularly about those image macros is so lovely I can't possibly add think of anything better than it to say:

The thing about it isn't just that it's awful, it's that it's awful in such a boring way, it's such a rote performance of an adolescent idea of masculinity"

The whole "lock up your daughters" is the exact same thing. I don't think 99% of men who saying this are going to do this. I don't even think that many of them will be particularly sexist in treating their daughters differently than their sons in many ways. They are just performing the role that they think they are supposed to play when they say shit like this. And it's the performance that's the problem.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [30 favorites]


Also he's saying you can't be a dude and a dad at the same time, which is weird.

Well, to be more clear, the author of the image macro (not clear whether it's the author of the article as well) is saying (to my read at least) something more complex - which is a father of a young girl feels conflicted feelings ("I really like that outfit on Power Girl, but god, I hope my daughter doesn't end up looking like Power Girl") which is IMO a perfectly human reaction to have.

Agreed that the "locking up the daughter" thing sucks. I live in the American south, and people still think it's funny to joke about "as soon as my daughter starts dating, I'm buying a SHOTGUN!"
posted by jbickers at 12:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also he's saying you can't be a dude and a dad at the same time, which is weird.

Also kind of implying that you can't be a dude and not be sexually attracted to women.

Well no, sometimes you can't, at least for him. Everyone wears different faces, no reason why this guy (who says a lot of problematic shit) should be any different.

It's not really about people wearing different faces, it's about how he's constructing masculinity and basically making it synonymous not just with sexual attraction to women, but sexual attraction to a certain kind of women, and even a certain kind of dynamic in how that sexual attraction is expressed.

I'm not a dude, but if I were a gay dude, especially one who liked comics, I'd find that pretty alienating.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 12:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


That the comment was favorited by so many is depressing; I hope some were at least bookmarking it as an egregious example of sexist rhetoric.

Thank you for reminding me to go back and favourite the comment because I wholly support what she was saying.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:54 PM on January 15, 2015 [65 favorites]


Also kind of implying that you can't be a dude and not be sexually attracted to women.

Well, drawings of women.

Dudehood is strange.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:54 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Right?!? That bothered me but I didn't say anything because it felt more like a personal attack since I'm totally the dudeliest dude there is out there duding.

On preview this comment was meant for The Master and Margarita Mix's comment but it fits under running order squabble fest's as well.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


NoraReed's comment throws that charity out the window. I do think it is bad faith to go straight to hyperbolic mischaracterizations which have no basis, and are even contradicted within the article itself, yes.

There are a lot of users on the site who have personal bugaboos about particular topics. NoraReed's is that she's out of patience with men interacting with feminism. Other people have bugs up their butts about the economy or not having children or consumer technology brands or electoral politics or whatever. At some point you need to move from expecting the mods to micromanage that user's interaction with the site until their every comment is in line with how you personally want it to keeping track of which users itch your knickers so you can ignore them or eyeroll your way past them. In my opinion.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:57 PM on January 15, 2015 [34 favorites]


which is IMO a perfectly human reaction to have.

what some of us are reacting to is that it rarely seems to be, "women in my life who i respect, like for instance the one i married and had a child with, aren't able to participate as breezily in something i find great joy in because it's packed full with sexist messaging," but instead almost always seems to be, "i had a daughter and suddenly this sexist work just popped up around me! who would've thought!" and we're left over here trying to figure out if we just need to get adopted en masse by all the well meaning men in the world so maybe we can move this train forward a little bit.

and that's not even really getting into the entire issue behind men needing a woman in their life to demonstrate the need for empathy because of the way that men are socialized to disregard everything female focused except for where it feeds them, nurtures them, or fucks them - while women are basically forced to see the world constantly through the eyes of men to the point that grade school girls write themselves as the sidekick because that's all they've ever seen.
posted by nadawi at 12:58 PM on January 15, 2015 [87 favorites]


In all honesty, the only 'bad faith' thing I see here is this Meta. It's basically a grudge meta.
posted by dotgirl at 1:00 PM on January 15, 2015 [90 favorites]


It's my understanding that the MeFi convention of being civil to each other is not also meant to extend to the authors and/or subjects of linked articles. And if it is, we're all in violation of the rules all the time and should probably just shut down the site.

Yeah, while I'm often less than enthusiastic about that user's "burn everything to the ground and then pour gasoline on the ashes and light it" commenting style, it's a far more apropos piece of aggression than most of the weak sauce "this sucks lol" favorite bait that the average FPP essay attracts, Mallory Ortberg excepted.

For now anyway, I've got a dollar that says we turn on her and devour her in 2015, Gaga-style.
posted by Kwine at 1:01 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


i'd also just like to voice that i'm uncomfortable with the way NoraReed is being singled out and piled on, as if she was alone in those sentiments. it makes all this read really personal, which seems like a bad use of metatalk. on preview - yeah, very grudge-y.
posted by nadawi at 1:02 PM on January 15, 2015 [68 favorites]


Welcome to the background radiation of life on MetaFilter.

There's only one use of the word "background radiation" that I find meaningful in discussions of women and comics, and it's not the one that means "feminists on this site engage in threadshitty, intolerant discussions."
posted by maxsparber at 1:02 PM on January 15, 2015 [37 favorites]


I think NoraReed's comment was pretty hyperbolic and I disagree with it but it sure wasn't out of place and delete-worthy so I dunno what this Meta is for.
posted by Justinian at 1:03 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yeah, maxsparber, I kind of felt like that was the intention of that word choice.

I also feel like that was shitty but one's mileage may vary.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:04 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


It's not really about people wearing different faces, it's about how he's constructing masculinity and basically making it synonymous not just with sexual attraction to women, but sexual attraction to a certain kind of women, and even a certain kind of dynamic in how that sexual attraction is expressed.

Ok, I hear ya, but I'm seeing it in a different light, that of a father who has a grown ass daughter who enjoys cosplayand dressing up sexy outfits. Which is totally her right and I'd never say a peep about it, because grown ass woman. Just don't care to see it. It's the same as seeing your parents in sexy clothes, just not something you want to see, even if you do like seeing people in sexy stuff.

So yeah, the author might like the Powergirl outfit, he's not eager to see his daughter in said sexy outfit (leaving aside whether one thinks the Powergirl outfit is sexy, it's just an example). There's a crashing together of different things one doesn't want mixed together.

That's how I took that comment of the author's
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Those image macros he posted are pretty awful too. (NSFW-ish) In this one he's like "as a dude, hell yeah this is awesome! As a parent, though..."

That's actually not what the guy wrote, just FYI.


It pretty much is. Those aren't the exact words on the image but it's not a misleading paraphrase; I don't know if you're just pedantically objecting to the the lack of literal quotation for some reason or actually suggesting the substance is different. The actual literal text of the image:

[caption] "THE STRUGGLE IS REAL"
[word bubble from Power Girl grabbing her breasts] "They're too...big?"
[caption] "AS A DUDE, 'NO'...AS A DAD, THOUGH..."

That's pretty straightforward. He's setting off a dudely big-thumbs-up for Power Girl's trademark big breasts and cleavage window with a vague dawning dad-of-a-daughter concern about same. "As a dude of course I like her big tits" is taken as just sort of an obvious, unproblematic part of his message when it seriously has zero reason to be there.

Which seems like it's of a piece with that well-meaning-but-not-great nature of the whole thing: it's totally possible to be trying to say something thoughtful and identify stuff that you've realized is problematic about your worldview or assumptions and still also be gross or thoughtless or offensive in the process. Talking about how you like big boobs isn't a capital offense or anything but it's also the opposite of helpful if what you're trying to communicate is a dawning understanding of pervasive sexism.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:07 PM on January 15, 2015 [73 favorites]


Talking about how you like big boobs isn't a capital offense or anything but it's also the opposite of helpful if what you're trying to communicate is a dawning understanding of pervasive sexism.

Yeah, this. It's tough to listen to people who are at a different place on the path from you. (see also: the antisemitism thread) but part of weird old MeFi and it's generalist group of nerds is that this is going to happen, and often.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:09 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ok, I hear ya, but I'm seeing it in a different light, that of a father who has a grown ass daughter who enjoys cosplayand dressing up sexy outfits. Which is totally her right and I'd never say a peep about it, because grown ass woman. Just don't care to see it. It's the same as seeing your parents in sexy clothes, just not something you want to see, even if you do like seeing people in sexy stuff.

So yeah, the author might like the Powergirl outfit, he's not eager to see his daughter in said sexy outfit (leaving aside whether one thinks the Powergirl outfit is sexy, it's just an example). There's a crashing together of different things one doesn't want mixed together.


Okay, as someone who grew up with tits like Power Girl and had people creepily sexualizing them for me well before the age of legal consent, while it may be "perfectly human", it's still a pretty shitty attitude and worth condemning. I also spent a lot of my youth in a sport that required me to wear spandex outfits not unlike that worn by Power Girl, thankfully with far less visible cleavage at least. I'll take your word for it your daughter is intentionally sexualizing herself when she cosplays and I can totally understand not wanting to see that, but what about girls (with or without big boobs) who wear stuff like that but aren't deliberately sexualizing themselves? You've seen the stuff about yoga pants, right? As well-meaning as "I am a parent and I don't want to see my child doing sex stuff because ick" is as a sentiment, there is a whole lot of stuff going on behind that particular invocation of it that is really messed up and antifeminist that dude is obviously completely oblivious to, including the fact that big boobs get automatically sexualized in our culture even when their owners aren't trying to present themselves sexually at all.

That, frankly, is a discussion I'd like to see one of these "middle-aged white nerdy putatitively liberal dude" articles actually take on and wrestle with, but instead what I see is basically just a constant stream of begging for validation just for acknowledging the obvious.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 1:16 PM on January 15, 2015 [58 favorites]


Those aren't the exact words on the image but it's not a misleading paraphrase; I don't know if you're just pedantically objecting to the the lack of literal quotation for some reason or actually suggesting the substance is different.

Yeah, the former. If you're going to quote someone, then use their exact words. We may disagree about that in this specific instance, or in general and that's ok. We'll just call me pedantic about that and move on.

As a dude of course I like her big tits" is taken as just sort of an obvious, unproblematic part of his message when it seriously has zero reason to be there.

The photos in general are problematic to include with the article. It's not something I would have done, but I believe he's coming form a particular angle, so I'd disagree that they have zero reason to be there, if for no other reason that he's the author and clearly working through some things, so that seemed appropriate at this point. Hopefully, he'll look back on the article at some point and think "Yeaaaaaah, I could handled that so much better".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


i'd also just like to voice that i'm uncomfortable with the way NoraReed is being singled out and piled on, as if she was alone in those sentiments. it makes all this read really personal, which seems like a bad use of metatalk. on preview - yeah, very grudge-y.

Yeah - like, this is not even a terribly extreme position to take - criticism of the "I never really thought about gender equality - until I had this amazing daughter!" school of comment blog-writing is by no means peculiar to norareed, in that thread or elsewhere. This is a representative recent example, or this, or this.

But. This is clearly not a discussion of whether norareed's position was egregious (it isn't), or unique (not even in that thread) nor whether it killed the thread (it didn't). It's a fight post. What one does with that I don't know, but in terms of whether moderators should be stepping in to address this (no) or whether there is a community norm that wants women to self-police when at risk of expressing negative opinions (also no), this is a dead rubber.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:19 PM on January 15, 2015 [29 favorites]


I thought NoraReed's comments were perfectly within the bounds of acceptable behaviour on Metafilter. It certainly wasn't threadshitting, it directly addressed the original post.

I read this Meta first and went back to read the thread, expecting to see that it had been totally derailed. It hadn't. There were a number of people agreeing with NoraReed, partially agreeing, and disagreeing. It all seemed pretty civil and I thought there was some decent discussion there. I'm not seeing a problem in that thread, or a need for this callout.
posted by Pink Frost at 1:21 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


If you're going to quote someone, then use their exact words.

fyi, "In this one he's like..." is often saying, "this isn't a direct quote."
posted by nadawi at 1:21 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


We could just get most of these posts deleted. There's often already an existing open FPP about men learning feminism where people are arguing about tone.

I don't know. It's an fairly depressing conundrum that one of the fairly successful ways to raise awareness of sexism is to bombard people with articles about it (I still benefit from this bombardment). On the other hand, those who are thoroughly aware can be highly annoyed of the tiring repetitive FPPs about it, when there's many other topics to post about. It's a dilemma that while I can skip over many pop-culture FPPs because they aren't relevant to me, the situation with sexism FPPs is not the same.
posted by halifix at 1:22 PM on January 15, 2015


I read that thread, as I often do when I'm at work, without having read the linked article. I am a lifelong fan of comics, as my commenting history here would probably make clear, and I am the father of a 10 year old daughter whose developing a pretty good slate of geek interestes, and I've become very aware, in a visceral sense that just didn't exist for me before, of how shitty most mainstream comics are in their depiction of women. My daughter and I are reading "Ms. Marvel" and "Squirrel Girl" together and enjoying it a lot.

I was interested to hear what people had to say on the subject, particularly because a lot of previous metafilter discussions have helped me learn to see the feminist perspective on a wide range of topics, and I'm grateful for that.

I hit NoraReed's comment, felt like shit, and stopped reading. I hever have and never will make jokes about locking up my daughter of the sort that the dude in the article did , but her comment didn't mention that, and instead expressed her exasperation with guys that sound, from her description, more or less exactly like me. And I aim not to be a part of the problem.

So I'll just say, sorry not be farther along in the growth of my understanding than I am, but I'd ask for rhetoric to be aimed a little more precisely than it was in this instance.
posted by Ipsifendus at 1:23 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Actually I'm not even sure I particularly disagree with NoraReed here despite my earlier comment. I sure do get annoyed by the previously-anti-gay right wingers who find religion when their kid turns out to be gay. I mean, sure, great I'm glad you're no longer a raging jerkhole but how about a little empathy before it affects your family personally? This seems similar.
posted by Justinian at 1:24 PM on January 15, 2015 [28 favorites]


In any case when hyperbole on Metafilter is outlawed, only Metafilterian Outlaws will have hyperbole. So flag it and move on.
posted by Justinian at 1:25 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I hope some were at least bookmarking it as an egregious example of sexist rhetoric.

FWIW, that's not why I favorited it; and that seems like a fairly forlorn hope.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:28 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the former. If you're going to quote someone, then use their exact words.

That is just pedantry when not put in context, then, yes. Like, I think I probably totally agree with you about the idea of avoiding malicious or deceptive paraphrasing, but there are neutral, non-malicious, non-deceptive forms of partial quotation and paraphrase that are in constant use all over the place because it makes it easier to re-render a sentiment in a different context. Setting off a rewrite of a stilted caption with a clear indication of paraphrase is pretty reasonable stuff.

Which only really jumped out at me because objecting that something is not what someone actually said while providing no clarification about why you're objecting leaves folks to have to guess what the motive of that objection is. And the default assumption there is generally gonna be that there's an implied "...and you're misrepresenting what they said" charge attached. If you have no actual objection to what the speaker accomplished discursively by paraphrasing, and the subject of discussion isn't itself the mechanics and ethics of quotation and paraphrase, objecting to the fact that a paraphrase occurred merely to note that it occurred is a distracting non sequitur.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:29 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


I dunno man, I found the article a bit weak, was unsurprised to see Nora rip into it, as she is generally not one to hold back. I think it can be problematic sometimes when users get in the cross-hairs, but this was not one of those times, and her statement of opinion seemed pretty satisfactory to me? I mean people are allowed to express opinions here, and we're allowed to disagree with them. A thread can handle multiple discussions. Kinda feel like mefi was working as intended here.
posted by smoke at 1:29 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


My take is that he's posting the article so that other men who are interested in comics might read it and share his revelation

And which is exactly why it wasn't so well received by at least some people here, because it's such a painfully obvious revelation aimed at an audience much less aware of the pervasive sexism of pop culture in general and comics especially than MetaFilter is. It's somewhat of a bad fit therefore for the site and if you add in the weird sexist undertones to the whole article, it's no wonder it got some people's hackles up.

As I said in thread, I share NoraReed's problems with the original article: at best it was well intentioned but clumsily executed.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


As well-meaning as "I am a parent and I don't want to see my child doing sex stuff because ick" is as a sentiment, there is a whole lot of stuff going on behind that particular invocation of it that is really messed up and antifeminist that dude is obviously completely oblivious to, including the fact that big boobs get automatically sexualized in our culture even when their owners aren't trying to present themselves sexually at all.

That, frankly, is a discussion I'd like to see one of these "middle-aged white nerdy putatitively liberal dude" articles actually take on and wrestle with, but instead what I see is basically just a constant stream of begging for validation just for acknowledging the obvious.


We're in agreement on this, so cool. You're right, he's still got plenty of problematic stuff going, stuff that needs to be seriously thought out, sooner rather than later. I, personally, think that particular comment could have used a lot less hyperbole, but people are free to express themselves however they see fit.

Which only really jumped out at me because objecting that something is not what someone actually said while providing no clarification about why you're objecting leaves folks to have to guess what the motive of that objection is.

Excellent point, thank you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I hit NoraReed's comment, felt like shit, and stopped reading. I hever have and never will make jokes about locking up my daughter of the sort that the dude in the article did , but her comment didn't mention that, and instead expressed her exasperation with guys that sound, from her description, more or less exactly like me

Unless you consider yourself a "man who is only finally able to understand feminism after having a daughter" or an "asshole misogynistic nerd," it wasn't about you.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:32 PM on January 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


If anything my paraphrase made the author look a little better. I felt kinda gross even bringing up the guy's enthusiasm over big boobs, honestly. I don't care what you're into, "dude".
posted by naju at 1:36 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Power Girl's trademark big breasts and cleavage window

More male superheroes should have windows for their trademark sexual characteristics. You know, like Atom and his package.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:38 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


octobersurprise - powerboy gives you want you desire [pnsfw]
posted by nadawi at 1:40 PM on January 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


hot
posted by octobersurprise at 1:41 PM on January 15, 2015


It's just hard for me to understand why it's hard for others to understand.

hm maybe other people are different from you? not sure, just spitballin here
posted by Sebmojo at 1:44 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hit NoraReed's comment, felt like shit, and stopped reading. I hever have and never will make jokes about locking up my daughter of the sort that the dude in the article did , but her comment didn't mention that, and instead expressed her exasperation with guys that sound, from her description, more or less exactly like me. And I aim not to be a part of the problem.

So I'll just say, sorry not be farther along in the growth of my understanding than I am, but I'd ask for rhetoric to be aimed a little more precisely than it was in this instance.


Can you see though that this is actually asking quite a lot? I mean, if someone is feeling exhausted by how popular culture is treating them in general, and wants to make a comment about her frustrations with one article in particular (though one that relates to the overall problem), should she have to put effort into phrasing it so that people who haven't actually read the article don't feel targeted? I mean, maybe that would be better as a matter of tactical feminism, but as a matter of site norms it seems like a big ask.
posted by heisenberg at 1:44 PM on January 15, 2015 [58 favorites]


misha, your idiosyncratic interpretation of "bad faith" is once again creating confusion here. Also, if you're wondering why NoraReed's comment was not threadshitting it's because she actually engaged with the article on the merits (which, is basically the opposite of "bad faith," by the way). Threadshitting comments, in my estimation, are those which combine negativity with a failure to attempt to engage with the post or other comments on the merits. Being negative and critical is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition, for threadshitting, as I see it.

But most of all, by this point, on feminism issues, you're pretty much The User Who Cried Wolf, and it's hard to take your complaints seriously anymore, and instead I'm predisposed to view this MeTa as grinding whatever particular ax you want to grind, and not as some actual attempt to understand why NoraReed's critical comment was or was not threadshitting.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [48 favorites]


Frowner, thanks for your comment above re the impossibility of always getting it right.

I've been thinking a lot about what a productive conversation about people with privilege feeling like shit would look like. Id like to have one on this site, but even though I know it's not yours once you post it, I can't yet figure a way to post it that doesn't recapitulate privilege.

In any case, I don't think a general comment, not even aimed at user here, that makes people with privilege uncomfortable is at all out of bounds. It may be problematic in some ways, but this one was a solid read of the article.

I agree that this Meta seems overly personal, and not really issue based. NoraReed's comment was certainly not sexist, for God's sake.
posted by OmieWise at 1:52 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


One of the rare times that I feel like the "echo chamber" complaint is sometimes warranted.

I get the frustration. I can see how people feel that just because a dudebro is 10% less dudebro and is still hanging onto a lot of misogynistic hairballery is no reason to throw him a freakin' parade.

But as somebody who has a lot of negative baggage and flaws, and strives to be better, I don't like the idea that sharing ways that I'm trying to be better -- in these comments or on a blog post that might get linked here, or whatever -- will result in people crawling down my throat if I fail to meet community standards of perfect enlightenment.

As somebody in the same boat as Ipsifendus, above, it discourages me.

Not in the "makes me sad" sense, but in the "I am actively less interested in participating in conversations here, if the bar is set so incredibly high that there is zero tolerance for anyone who expresses less-than-perfect opinions."
posted by Shepherd at 1:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [26 favorites]


hey misha, if you're going to insist on opening these shitty metas time after time, could you at least keep your accusations about how we're young, self centered, reverse sexists in this thread, especially if your concern is that the main thread isn't talking about comics enough to your liking?
posted by nadawi at 2:04 PM on January 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


Not in the "makes me sad" sense, but in the "I am actively less interested in participating in conversations here, if the bar is set so incredibly high that there is zero tolerance for anyone who expresses less-than-perfect opinions."

But... it isn't zero tolerance. It's allowing people on MetaFilter to speak their minds (within reason) about things people are saying not on MetaFilter.

I mean, if discouragement is a consequence of that, that's a shame, but it feels like the lesser of two evils.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:07 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


Sure, but one critical comment from a member known for her critical comments isn't exactly zero tolerance.

I work on figuring out a lot of stuff in the world. I'm not perfect. I'm a white person in a white supremacist culture -- I have a lot of room to grow. And if someone is critical of my words or actions, that's really great. It's an opportunity to do a better job. It makes me more interested in engaging in the conversation. I don't see any of these conversations as discouraging in that way.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [25 favorites]


But as somebody who has a lot of negative baggage and flaws, and strives to be better, I don't like the idea that sharing ways that I'm trying to be better -- in these comments or on a blog post that might get linked here, or whatever -- will result in people crawling down my throat if I fail to meet community standards of perfect enlightenment.

The opportunity to share your own thoughts, opinions, and experiences is not a reason to discourage other people from engaging with it and sharing their own thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 2:11 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


> I don't think NoraReed's comment was in bad faith at all, just more written in a really assholish style.

Well, that's her style. I don't much like it, but I've gotten used to it, and it seemed pretty justified in this case, although you can see the downside of her style in the way Ipsifendus and Shepherd reacted. It's not just the absent target of the vitriol who is affected by it.
posted by languagehat at 2:14 PM on January 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


misha: “Usually, the (appropriate) response would be for anyone who finds a post not worth their time to skip that thread. Why is mocking the author for not being enlightened enough okay here?”

misha – the article that the post linked to wasn't framed as an essay full of interesting thoughts for us to ruminate upon. It was framed as an apology.

NoraReed was responding directly to that apology, and saying – no, this is not a good apology, and here's why.

Do you really think that's not a fair response when somebody is being apologized to?
posted by koeselitz at 2:17 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


When I'm talking about feminism, and the shit women have to deal with in the world, pretty much the last person I'm thinking about is the heterosexual, white men who will object to what I have to say. The only exception to this is explicitly situations where men are like, "I found out about this thing. I want to do something. What can I do?" Then I try to answer them and be nice, but feminism is not and cannot be about men.

The expectation by some heterosexual, white men that everything should be carefully phrase with their feelings in mind or they will simply stop engaging and go somewhere else where people are nice to them is part of the problem. When I'm engaged in anti-racism I expect to be called out on it in not entirely polite terms and I honestly don't care - I'll read what they have to say, try to learn, and move on. It would be nice if more white, heterosexual, men could try this instead of threatening to or actually leaving as soon as anyone is remotely critical; the being critical is actually the point.
posted by Deoridhe at 2:17 PM on January 15, 2015 [97 favorites]


But as somebody who has a lot of negative baggage and flaws, and strives to be better, I don't like the idea that sharing ways that I'm trying to be better -- in these comments or on a blog post that might get linked here, or whatever -- will result in people crawling down my throat if I fail to meet community standards of perfect enlightenment.

Why do you feel a need to ~share~ ways that you're ~trying to be better~ rather than just going out and doing them without comment?

As somebody in the same boat as Ipsifendus, above, it discourages me.

Not in the "makes me sad" sense, but in the "I am actively less interested in participating in conversations here, if the bar is set so incredibly high that there is zero tolerance for anyone who expresses less-than-perfect opinions."


As someone who has to deal with a number of different kinds of "-ism" issues where an unfortunate side effect of progress has seen a lot of people making their ally-dom into one big narcissistic performance piece that demands hand-holding and coddling, it discourages me when I have to bend over backwards making sure the dainty feelings of some dude aren't bruised just because I didn't add in enough disclaimers when trying to talk about what I'm going through, and I have had long periods of being "actively less interested" in participating in MeFi because of it.

But I still have to go around being a gay woman in the rest of my life and keep participating in a similar dynamic with people who do things way nastier than just expect me to adult up about it if I'm tangentially criticized in a sharp but valid way, excuse me if I take the world's tiniest violin out for you.

I mean, I'm white, I'm (relatively) wealthy and economically privileged, I've encountered criticisms from people of color or people with less economic and educational privilege that felt a bit too broad and did kind of bruise my feelings and my view of myself, but I did not throw a tantrum and ask for special consideration or invoke the tone argument. Dudes pulling this sad sack "but my feelings!" bullshit makes me extra angry because I know that it's possible to just flat out ADULT UP about this kind of thing when you're on the privilege side of a dynamic like this. Not everything someone says that makes me uncomfortable because it reflects badly on me is out of bounds, no matter how it feels at the time. When I fuck up, which has happened, that's because I got blindsided by my own butthurt, not the people doing the criticism, and it's not fair to ask them for me to deal with my fuckups. Maybe it's because on other issues I've had the experience of not actually being able to "take my ball and go home", but I don't pull that crap and I frankly don't understand why supposedly grown-ass adults think it's okay to keep pulling this kind of nonsense.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 2:20 PM on January 15, 2015 [58 favorites]


A couple of the comments defending the guy were from me, so I'd just like to say that I didn't consider any of the opposing comments "threadshitting". I thought it was just a discussion.

I get that it is frustrating to encounter people who aren't where you are, but they are everywhere. As a thought experiment, think about a whole country of mostly conservative Muslim men with not-that-enlightened attitudes towards women - do they get a pass because cultural relativism, but comic book guy doesn't? What if the Saudi government lets women drive? Is it "yay progress" or "boo not good enough"? Or maybe both?

I try my best to be positive about *any* progress that people make and gently guide them through my own actions to be even better. But "Oh whoop de do he finally realized comics are sexist" seems kind of negative and uncharitable. Still not threadshitting though :-)
posted by freecellwizard at 2:23 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Shame and guilt feelings are basically the whole point as it spurs action by the person feeling those feelings. As a white, cis, dude, when I don't want to feel that way I disengage as is my privilege based on those attributes.
posted by josher71 at 2:26 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


I favorited the comment because it needed to be made. I would have been willing to restrain my hostility about this article if the author had in any way acknowledged the tremendous number of women's voices talking about the problem with women and comics instead of acting like he's the first person to think about these things. This kind of erasure and Columbusing is not allyship, it's a white dude gettin' a paycheck for saying things that the people directly affected have been talking about for a long time.

Shit, Big Bang Theory's already covered the topic. He's not even the first white guy to notice! Maybe his next article should be about how poisons are dangerous or water is wet.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:27 PM on January 15, 2015 [42 favorites]


When I have ideas about something complex and multi-faceted (race, gender, whatever), I like to hope they can stand up to scrutiny. I assume they're not watertight, and maybe even quite leaky, if only because none of my thoughts are gleaming jewels of perfection. I come to intelligent, fiercely opinionated sites like this because ideas are scrutinized here. By people smarter than I am. You said something, and it's open to discussion. If you're scared of even the specter of disagreement, then you have a problem with the site culture, probably. But I don't think that's even what's happening. Presumably you're capable of disagreement on a slew of other topics. So it's something about gender topics in particular where vocal disagreement has you ready to pack it up. Why is that? Maybe it's indicative of how much you're really willing to learn, and I would examine that.

We all have our thoughts dissected here, I think. No matter what stage of understanding we're in about any particular topic. It's what makes the site interesting, productive, and fun. I've learned so much from this dynamic over the years.
posted by naju at 2:29 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I get that it is frustrating to encounter people who aren't where you are, but they are everywhere. As a thought experiment, think about a whole country of mostly conservative Muslim men with not-that-enlightened attitudes towards women - do they get a pass because cultural relativism, but comic book guy doesn't? What if the Saudi government lets women drive? Is it "yay progress" or "boo not good enough"? Or maybe both?

No dude in Saudi Arabia is writing clickbait articles demanding validation for his faltering proto-feminism, broseph. That's the critical difference here. That's the problem: newly minted "allies" confusing the public performance of "Look At Me Being An Ally! I Was A Jerk But I'm Cool Now, Right? Back Me Up, Internet" with actual useful work to advance the cause in question, sometimes drowning out the voices of people doing that actual useful work or the discussions trying to teach them how they can actually contribute.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 2:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


but I don't pull that crap and I frankly don't understand why supposedly grown-ass adults think it's okay to keep pulling this kind of nonsense.

Most people aren't you. Hell, most aren't even grown ass adults.

Which isn't an excuse, just an observation, one you're free to ignore or discount. But idea the that was in the linked comment and this thread seems to be just a couple degrees short of 'privileged and learning slowly, so you deserve the harsh treatment'. Which is an odd way to get people to learn, but whatever floats whoever's boat.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


So... "uncharitable" versus having to put up with a sexualizing, objectifying and quite well-characterized rape culture every single day of one's life. This is why the methodology of "intersectionality" was articulated. We tend to think of harms as equivalent even when they're not.

Intersectionality (Wikipedia).

I'm not saying that only the person(s) suffering the most get to speak, but when talking about disingenuousness, it helps not to simultaneously make false equivalences between different folks' very obviously different experiences of suffering and day-to-day experiences of casual bias.
posted by kalessin at 2:31 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Frankly, I feel like this whole callout is a little too interpersonal.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:31 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think it was on MeFi that I was introduced to this post containing the term privilege distress. It's been very useful for me. We're navigating some of this at work in our volunteer corps, which is composed of largely rich white ladies working with some acutely marginalized kids - some have asked heartrendingly, "don't you see how hurtful it is to call me privileged when all I'm trying to do is make the world a better place?" - and using the concept of privilege distress has been a helpful way of talking about it. It's not especially comfortable to understand the ways in which privilege has been protecting you. But that doesn't make it fair to ask people oppressed by those forms of privilege to make it more comfortable for you by not mentioning their frustration, exhaustion, anger, or demands for equal treatment. So yes, I can understand that it's not pleasant to experience privilege distress. We're all struggling with a stupid and overly limiting system, the privileged included. At the same time, the severity of that distress is not really comparable to the severity of innumerable categorical oppressions over a lifetime. It is good to have a sense of proportion about your distress, to be able to say "I feel some distress here, but I can see that the person talking to me about this is experiencing and has experienced even more distress, and I can learn something by listening to that. I will be all right." It behooves the privileged to sit back and quietly accept the truth of others from time to me. It is not fun but if you really believe in justice, you kind of have to accept it. We don't always get rewarded for doing the right things. We shouldn't expect to.
posted by Miko at 2:33 PM on January 15, 2015 [146 favorites]


There's nothing wrong with feeling a bit shitty when you see behaviour called out you recognise yourself in; it's miles better than just getting angry or remaining in denial. It means you are at least aware that there's something wrong.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


NoraReed's comment was the 2nd one in the thread that I favorited. (The link to the Shortpacked comic was the 1st). It didn't ruin the thread which went off in multiple interesting directions, including recommendation for 'girl-friendly' comics, which I contributed to.

Of course, I could also be accused of 'threadshitting' for...
So I have to train men with positive emotional feedback or they'll become MRAs?
'Not all men', but a large percentage of us require it. I think it's part of the 'missing leg' on the XY chromosome that makes us men naturally inferior, y'know?

..which ironically has been called out by NoraReed.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:39 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Miko!!!
posted by OmieWise at 2:46 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


...is a gentle reminder about trans people a call out?
posted by nadawi at 2:49 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a gentle call out and one I don't really mind, considering it's one of my worse joke comments.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:54 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It was a pretty little call out, but I think oneswellfoop knew that.

I'm trying to be an ally and I fuck up a lot-- I failed pretty utterly at inclusive language recently and still feel like a bit of a dick about it-- but feel the need to call that out every time I see it because I know trans people are probably really sick of doing it and it doesn't cost me nearly as much to bring it up since I'm cis.
posted by NoraReed at 2:54 PM on January 15, 2015 [25 favorites]


I favorited the comment because it needed to be made. I would have been willing to restrain my hostility about this article if the author had in any way acknowledged the tremendous number of women's voices talking about the problem with women and comics instead of acting like he's the first person to think about these things.

He does do this. Directly from the linked article:

I think I’m fairly socially conscious. I’m morally aware of what’s going on in the world around me. I help those who need assistance. My social circle’s about as diverse as you can possibly get without being a caricature from a children’s story about tolerance and acceptance...

And

...See, I’ve talked with plenty of people and kept up on the news. I have friends who are women in the technology field. We’ve had plenty of female guests on our show. I know some incredibly successful women in their chosen careers. But as it turns out, even though I thought I had a grasp on how crappy women can have it in the geek world, it turns out that, at best, I had a superficial understanding.

That's just what you asked for.

Shit, Big Bang Theory's already covered the topic. He's not even the first white guy to notice! Maybe his next article should be about how poisons are dangerous or water is wet.

Yes, and he is aware of that, which, if you actually read the piece, you would know, since an episode of The Big Bang Theory is what motivated the trip to the comic book store in the first place!

So, yeah, you say you will "restrain your hostility" only if he jumps through certain hoops--gosh, thanks so much for agreeing to extend some common civility!--but he DID jump through those hoops, and it STILL wasn't good enough.

Will you apologize now because you were wrong?
posted by misha at 2:58 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


So, yeah, you say you will "restrain your hostility" only if he jumps through certain hoops--gosh, thanks so much for agreeing to extend some common civility!--but he DID jump through those hoops, and it STILL wasn't good enough.

You have a really low bar for "hostility" and a bar for ~common civility~ that from here seems an awful lot like "never offends misha's own personal sensibilities", ever.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 3:00 PM on January 15, 2015 [50 favorites]


misha, your examples of the OP article's author's acknowledgements are pretty weak. You are comparing his testimony that he knows women (in his social circle and/or professionally) who have been talking to him about sexism with what Lyn Never described as "the tremendous number of women's voices talking about the problem with women and comics". To me, this is one of the false equivalences that I was talking about when I linked to Intersectionality.

These things are not like the other. The author's circle of women he knows is only similar in that it is composed of women. Lyn's tremendous number includes women that the author does not know. This is a vast difference in scope and scale that you appear to be insensitive to.
posted by kalessin at 3:05 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yes, and he is aware of that, which, if you actually read the piece, you would know, since an episode of The Big Bang Theory is what motivated the trip to the comic book store in the first place!

1. Having seen an episode of The Big Bang Theory does not mean that he's seen or acknowledged the episode in question, and

2. If you actually read the piece, you would know that it was a commercial for The Big Bang Theory which motivated the trip to the comic book store, and not an episode, will you apologize now because you were wrong blah blah blah
posted by shakespeherian at 3:11 PM on January 15, 2015 [27 favorites]


Sure, I did miss that. I was probably pretty done with the article before I got there.

Still not sorry, and I have no idea who I'd be apologizing to. It's still an appalling article, I still find the attitude and behavior offensive, and I still find no indication that he actually listened to any of the women's voices I was talking about - in fact, it almost sounds like he doesn't understand why none of these random people he knows (who I guess are women, or know women) came over to his house to tell him about this terrible problem with women and comics. I do not like the article. I do not like when people behave the way that man is behaving. I think it is a terrible disservice to daughters to be raised by men who do not take it upon themselves to educate themselves about the problems women experience in the world *before* the moment in the comic store.

My hostility stands.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:13 PM on January 15, 2015 [40 favorites]


Eh, NoraReed is sometimes abrasive, but I don't think I've ever seen her comment in bad faith. She's pretty darned upfront with what she thinks and how she presents it. She didn't bend over backwards to find the most charitable read on the article, but I don't think that's a requirement for participation. And I say this as someone who tries, most of the time, to read with charity.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


I think I'm left wondering how men can mentor men in this position. Like, "congrats, you had your first epiphany. You now see women as 5% human. How would you like to get to 15% and then to 100%? Because being a fully formed human being is actually pretty awesome."

And this is neither here I'd rather have molten railroad spikes poured into my gouged out eyesockets than rabbit trail down Big Bang Theory bickering.
posted by boo_radley at 3:16 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is an awful lot of effort devoted to defending the honor of a dude who A) admits he fucked up and B) isn't here actually having his face slapped.
posted by Etrigan at 3:20 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


misha: “Yes, and he is aware of that, which, if you actually read the piece, you would know, since an episode of The Big Bang Theory is what motivated the trip to the comic book store in the first place!”

No, he apparently isn't, and no, it didn't. An advertisement for an episode of The Big Bang Theory where they go to a comic store motivated the trip. It had nothing to do with The Big Bang Theory tackling sexism in comics or anything like that. Did you read the piece?
posted by koeselitz at 3:23 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


What about the guy writing down his thoughts about an enlightening experience he had implies that he's expecting a metaphorical cookie for expressing his thoughts?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 3:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


hey misha, if you're going to insist on opening these shitty metas time after time, could you at least keep your accusations about how we're young, self centered, reverse sexists in this thread, especially if your concern is that the main thread isn't talking about comics enough to your liking?

I didn't call anyone anything. I talked about myself, and how, once I grew the fuck up, I realized that everything isn't black or white. To quote empty thought, "Unless you think [young, self-centered and sexist] applies to you, it wasn't about you."

But my comment was deleted, anyway? Not sure why. It can't be the profanity because others here use it all the time and I rarely do.
posted by misha at 3:31 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think I'm left wondering how men can mentor men in this position. Like, "congrats, you had your first epiphany. You now see women as 5% human. How would you like to get to 15% and then to 100%? Because being a fully formed human being is actually pretty awesome."

I've attempted this a couple of times. In those instances, raising this issue - of how men can do better - lead to instant and total defensiveness, even from guys that I think are actually pretty good on these issues, if not particularly introspective about them. "Why do you have to shame men for bad behaviour? I hate hearing about how men are so bad. It's not all men. Can't you just commend men for good behaviour?"

I don't know how to cut through that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:44 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is an awful lot of effort devoted to defending the honor of a dude who A) admits he fucked up and B) isn't here actually having his face slapped.

The defense of the guy is the facade built upon the foundation of axegrindy grudgewank.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [28 favorites]


I think I'm left wondering how men can mentor men in this position. Like, "congrats, you had your first epiphany. You now see women as 5% human. How would you like to get to 15% and then to 100%? Because being a fully formed human being is actually pretty awesome."

My first thought is "how do teachers get teenagers to learn?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:58 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


The defense of the guy is the facade built upon the foundation of axegrindy grudgewank.

Bob: The foundation is slipping!
Jim: Prop it up with March issue of Playboy!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


We should actually be discussing how much we should be paying Norareed as a reward for keeping the site from slipping into somnambulate oblivion.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:01 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why do you feel a need to ~share~ ways that you're ~trying to be better~ rather than just going out and doing them without comment?

There's something weirdly beautiful about me saying that the tendency to shout at people who converse in less-than-perfect ways chills conversation, and having the rejoinder be that I have no business participating in conversations.
posted by Shepherd at 4:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


It is the moderators' responsibility to try to make sure, as well as they are able, that discussions don't spin out into unfocussed aggression (or focused aggression for that matter), into shouting and dumb and rest-of-the-internettiness.

Trying to smooth off every corner isn't something they (or I or many other people here, I suspect) want to do, I would hope. Doing so, or more properly trying to do so (because it's just not feasible), might make this place more 'safe' but it would certainly make it less interesting.

People should be and are allowed to speak heatedly, to get angry, to even, sometimes, say things or say things in ways they later regret. I don't personally think those things should be deleted quite as frequently as it seems they are, but on the other hand, the relatively measured discussions that we mostly tend to have around the blue even on difficult topics are probably in part enabled by those deletions.

As always, I suggest that depending too much on moderators to police conversations rather than engaging with other people ourselves is a suboptimal thing both for us as individuals and for the community as a whole. Sadly, for me at least, this appeal to authority model continues to gain preeminence as the way many people approach the community and its standards these days, and there doesn't seem to be an easy way to back down from that, even if the mods wanted that to happen. The group-behavioural feedback loop is too well-established now, I think.

I don't envy the mods in their jobs at all -- it's got to be mighty hard to walk the line. I think they're doing fine, and a little less rules-lawyering (why was this deleted? why wasn't this deleted?) and a little more reliance on our ability to engage with other community members productively, even if we disagree with them, or they've made us angry, or offended us in some way, well, that might be a good thing.

Either way, I'm fascinated, as I have been for like a decade and half at this point (!), watching how the great experiment evolves.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


We should actually be discussing how much we should be paying Norareed as a reward for keeping the site from slipping into somnambulate oblivion.

sounds good to me
posted by NoraReed at 4:17 PM on January 15, 2015 [38 favorites]


There's something weirdly beautiful about me saying that the tendency to shout at people who converse in less-than-perfect ways chills conversation, and having the rejoinder be that I have no business participating in conversations.

I thought the implication was merely that you must be a narcissist who wants cookies for trying to do better, not that you have no business participating in conversations.
posted by uosuaq at 4:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


uosuaq: "There's something weirdly beautiful about me saying that the tendency to shout at people who converse in less-than-perfect ways chills conversation, and having the rejoinder be that I have no business participating in conversations.

I thought the implication was merely that you must be a narcissist who wants cookies for trying to do better, not that you have no business participating in conversations.
"

Whew, well thank god for that clarification.

Whoops, let me adopt the correct house style to denote what I'm feeling.

~Thank god~ for that ¸¸.•*¨*•♫clarification¨*•.¸

There we go.

NoraReed: "sounds good to me"
Please enjoy my contribution. Also wow that was fast.
posted by boo_radley at 4:24 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why do you feel a need to ~share~ ways that you're ~trying to be better~ rather than just going out and doing them without comment?

If one takes the question at face value instead of assuming it is rhetorical, it could be very interesting. What exactly does anyone hope to gain from telling others "I am trying to be better"? When I've said "I'm trying to be better," it's generally because I'm hoping for forgiveness for something I got wrong or am still getting sort-of wrong, reassurance that my efforts are enough, appreciation for the efforts I am making. And that's not in general bad stuff to want or to request in interpersonal situations. Except. Except. If it's part of a pattern where my constant "trying to do better" doesn't result in things actually being better for the other person, then my continuing to request their forgiveness and reassurance and appreciation is just adding to their burden.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Grudge wank! Baby, grudge wank!

Note says: "Everyone needs a hug."
I'd like to hug you upside the head with a clue-oo-by-four!
Click the link at the up-per right of the page
Gotta comment to make full of righteous rage!

Comments with some typoos
Comments with some ad hommmms
Comments with high dudgeonnn
Comments written ALLL-CAAAAAAAPPPPPS!

The grude wank's a pissy little MeTa
Where we can take some cheap shots!
Grudge wank, baby!
(Ga-rudge wank, bay-bay!)
Grudge wank, hope you enjoy brats!
Grudge wank, thanks a lot, Matt!

Axes are a-grinding, everyone's a-minding, baby!
MeFites linin' up just to put each other down!
Everyone's a-griping, with your logic they're a-wiping, baby!
Petty little wank! Petty little wank!

Wank wankkkkkk!
On the grey, baby!
Wank wankkkkk!
On the grey, baby!

I could go on, but really have to get back to writing that cover letter. I would say 'With apologies to the B-52s', but seriously, fuck those guys.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hang on -uosuaq, are you saying that there's a theory that the original author of the article who started this "wanted cookies"? Because I actually sincerely didn't get that read at all. But if others did, it could explain the disconnect.

And yeah, it totally didn't read like an "I figured this out give me a good star now" thing, more like a "wow I just got beaned over the head about how wrong I was, sorry I was such a clueless loser before" kind of thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Isn't that exactly what a humblebrag is?
posted by winna at 4:29 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Reads more like just plain ol' humility to me.
posted by Justinian at 4:32 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Having written more than one "I was so stupid/wrong back then" piece, I'd say there are always elements of (1) I can't BELIEVE I was such an asshole, (2) I'm so RELIEVED I now know better, AND (3) don't I get a cookie for finally getting it right? in every such writing. Proportions may vary, and it's really easy to misinterpret which is the dominant narrative, but it's always there, if only just a little.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos, it's more that the original author didn't get very many cookies in the comments, and in fact got called out on how much further he has to go. And now this is causing others to be afraid that if they talk about the progress they are making on working toward becoming feminist allies, they might not get very many cookies, and in fact might get called out on how much further they have to go. This is making them actively less interested in participating in conversations here, because they realize that might actually happen here. And I am not sure how to take that as anything other than progress. It kind of makes me want to give Metafilter a cookie.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 4:41 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


Hang on -uosuaq, are you saying that there's a theory that the original author of the article who started this "wanted cookies"?

No, I was specifically referring to how I read the comment Shepherd was responding to.

While I have an open textbox, I'll add that I imagine people might say "I'm trying to be better about X" on their blog or their Facebook page or whatever because that's sort of what such things are for -- a public diary.

The original article came across to me pretty much as you describe it. And yes, it's shame the author needed that particular experience to get that particular clue, but...we're all born clueless and self-centered (and for that matter, as obsessed with boobies as this guy still seems to be), and for the most part it takes experience to knock some sense of the wider world into us. I'm not sure it's right to blame individuals for having had sheltered lives.
posted by uosuaq at 4:41 PM on January 15, 2015


no one is born with a creepy, sexualized, objectifying, male gaze-y fascination with cell-shaded, anatomically unlikely (if not impossible) breasts, or the propensity to call them "boobies"
posted by NoraReed at 4:59 PM on January 15, 2015 [46 favorites]


If it makes you feel any better, I went with the word "boobies" precisely because the breasts depicted in the cover images on the right-hand side of the article were anatomically unlikely (if not impossible). Very much teen-boy-fantasy stuff.
posted by uosuaq at 5:18 PM on January 15, 2015


Nora - by the same token, since - as you yourself say - no one is born objectifying women, but rather has to be taught how to do it, might it not stand to reason at someone who's been trained to do precisely that all his life may have to go through a few extra steps when it comes to deconstructing it, and therefore was a bit inadvertently blinkered when it came to him being able to see precisely how far down the pit of misogyny went? Especially if he'd been expressly trained to ignore it his whole life?

I mean, yeah, I wish he'd gotten it from just talking to other women too, but he didn't sound like he was making excuses, more like he was apologizing for NOT getting it just from talking to other women. I focus on the fact that regardless how he got it, or why he didn't get it before, he gets it NOW.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:37 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


No one is born…

Stephen Pinker might disagree with you.
posted by OmieWise at 5:38 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


But he's an asshole.
posted by OmieWise at 5:39 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


he clearly doesn't get it now though because he's making shitty "lock up my daughter" jokes and posting a bunch of titillating art to go with the post

also I don't see how me refusing to accept evopsych bullshit justifying obsession with breasts means I should be less sick of hearing this shit from men who aren't even at feminism 101 level and are requiring remedial "women are people" classes from their 7 year old children
posted by NoraReed at 5:42 PM on January 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


I hope "evopsych bullshit justifying obsession with breasts" doesn't refer to my offhand joke about this guy being as into "boobies" as a newborn. (It's fine if you don't like my idea of a joke, but I wasn't trying to justify anything.) As for the "titillating art", I won't defend the commentary the author added to the images, but for someone like me who doesn't frequent comic book stores the images were pretty helpful in a "holy crap, they put *that* on the cover?" sort of way.
posted by uosuaq at 5:55 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit lost in these comments, but I hope your last wasn't directed at me. I think evo psych is as stupid and rankle misogynistic as it gets.
posted by OmieWise at 5:55 PM on January 15, 2015


That was to NoraReed.
posted by OmieWise at 5:56 PM on January 15, 2015


I wrote one of the earlier comments in that thread and I definitely rewrote it a lot to remove a lot of my tired feminist snark. I had a whole thing about "oh good let's give this guy a fucking cookie, now someone take those batman comics away from his tiny son and let him play with some ponies instead" but then I deleted that and started over. Why? Because I had made myself feel bad. And I realized that I had something positive to contribute instead - my nice feminist local.

But, I tell you what, dear reader, when norareed made her comment? I was pleased and relieved. Someone said it, thank god.

Women are allowed to have different attitudes and reactions and ways of engaging. My eschewing of solely male-run comic shops comes from the exact place norareed's comment came from. I was so fucking tired. I still am, but I have some places and people that give me a recharge, now. I understand that a lot of us don't. Demanding that everybody brings the same level of patience with this unending assault on women's existence as people is what's unneeded. I need different voices with different experiences talking about the same problems from different angles.

And we still got to talk about great comics for kids.
posted by Mizu at 6:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [35 favorites]


he clearly doesn't get it now though because he's making shitty "lock up my daughter" jokes and posting a bunch of titillating art to go with the post

Or maybe that's his next step?

also I don't see how me refusing to accept evopsych bullshit justifying obsession with breasts means I should be less sick of hearing this shit from men who aren't even at feminism 101 level and are requiring remedial "women are people" classes from their 7 year old children

I don't recall anyone telling you to accept evopsych bullshit so I'm not sure what you're referring to. I am strictly referring to the claim that this guy is "looking for a cookie" when it reads way more like "I'm sorry that it DID take my seven year old to explain it to me, and that I WAS so clueless before this."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Women are allowed to have different attitudes and reactions and ways of engaging.

Most assuredly, but also: everyone is allowed to have different attitudes and reactions and ways of engaging. Even if it offends, annoys or bothers others.

I've said it before (I've even said 'I've said it before' before), but in this texty realm we are known by our words. I reckon it's a noble effort to make to define ourselves (as others inevitably will) by what we say, not by how we react to what others say. In part because there are always going to be people saying dumb or offensive (or just annoying) things that piss us off and make us feel bad.

And you know: fuck it. Ain't nobody got time for that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:37 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


There's "allowed" and then there's "polite". The limits of our liberty do not describe civility.
posted by kalessin at 6:39 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Or maybe that's his next step?

cool maybe once he's there I'll give a shit about what he has to say. until then, I'm allowed to be fucking sick of reading "man has daughter and decides the shit he learned from that experience has made him enlightened" thinkpieces getting space and attention that maybe could go toward the words of people who know what the fuck they're talking about (read: women).

actually, even then, I'll still be sick of reading that shit, because I've heard it 10,000 times before, just like I bet philosophers are sick of "what if the green I see isn't the green you see" and biologists are sick of talking about intelligent design, except with the added bullshit of those shitty boring questioners having credibility because they happen to be men in a patriarchy
posted by NoraReed at 6:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [43 favorites]


"I am actively less interested in participating in conversations here, if the bar is set so incredibly high that there is zero tolerance for anyone who expresses less-than-perfect opinions."

Dude, I'm a LIBERTARIAN and yet I participate in conversations here just fine.

People disagreeing with and/or critiquing your opinions is not the same as them having "zero tolerance" for you as a person or for you being a member of this community.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [29 favorites]


> he DID jump through those hoops, and it STILL wasn't good enough.

misha, I made almost this exact same point in the original thread as you made in your comment here, regarding evidence of the author's prior efforts to understand sexism. And in the thread we had some discussion about it, and there was some totally civil back and forth, and I don't feel like I've been beaten down or anything.

Sheesh. What do you want from that thread on the blue that it's not giving you?
posted by desuetude at 6:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


now someone take those batman comics away from his tiny son and let him play with some ponies instead

This is spot-on, and I think it explains a lot of the angry reaction to this piece. The guy doesn't say a single thing he's going to do differently! He seems to have no problem whatsoever with the fact that his son is also consuming the sexist media he's just realized is harmful, and says absolutely nothing about how this will change the way he personally interacts with sexist media. In fact, he pastes a bunch of super sexist imagery into the piece. It comes off as rubbing it in - "wow, sucks to be my daughter I guess" seems to be the extent of the analysis. He frames at as an apology, but an important part of an apology is usually saying how you're going to try to do better, and he doesn't do that part at all.
posted by dialetheia at 6:55 PM on January 15, 2015 [58 favorites]


Sheesh. What do you want from that thread on the blue that it's not giving you?

From what I have been able to tell, she wants everyone to 100% support men who are anything less than 100% misogynists.
posted by jaguar at 6:58 PM on January 15, 2015 [24 favorites]


cool maybe once he's there I'll give a shit about what he has to say. until then, I'm allowed to be fucking sick of reading "man has daughter and decides the shit he learned from that experience has made him enlightened" thinkpieces getting space and attention that maybe could go toward the words of people who know what the fuck they're talking about (read: women).

Where does young_son show up in this? He's the Metafilter member who made the FPP, and you're pretty much calling him a fuckwit who makes you fucking sick with his fucking stupid FPPs that some people think are ooh-ahh enlightened but that's only because they're so fucking stupid.

Is that really the kind of discussion we want to have here?
posted by alms at 7:04 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


cool maybe once he's there I'll give a shit about what he has to say.

I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't say anything about the subject again.

You win.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Where does young_son show up in this? He's the Metafilter member who made the FPP, and you're pretty much calling him a fuckwit who makes you fucking sick with his fucking stupid FPPs that some people think are ooh-ahh enlightened but that's only because they're so fucking stupid.

Well, that escalated quickly.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:07 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


Literally not one single word of complaint has been directed at the OP of the post until this moment when you decided that a comment not directed at the OP should instead be interpreted as a direct criticism of the OP.

you're really fucking reaching, is what i'm trying to say here
posted by poffin boffin at 7:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [35 favorites]


The only possible answer to any of this is THE COMPLETE BONE
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


hm, to click or not to click
posted by poffin boffin at 7:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


The only possible answer to any of this is THE COMPLETE BONE

This is totally apropos of nothing but also kind of hilarious because this is sitting on my dining room table at this moment.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:11 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


(so, click)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2015


When someone makes a single link FPP and you say that the linked article is puerile, stupid, and shitty, you are pretty much calling into question the judgement of the OP. Is that really such a leap?
posted by alms at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't say anything about the subject again.

You win.


Silenced all his life.
posted by kalessin at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Definitely click, that tome is one of the best rides of all comic time.
posted by Mizu at 7:13 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I KNOW AND WHAT IF I BUY IT im so mad
posted by poffin boffin at 7:14 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is that really such a leap?

Yes, it really is. The only metric for posting is "something interesting on the web." There's absolutely no reason to assume that any and all comments about the post are directed at the poster or their judgment.
posted by juliplease at 7:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


YOU WILL ENJOY YOURSELF AND BE ABLE TO SHARE IT WITH OTHERS? I don't... is there a downside? It's like thirty bucks, unless you get the fancy gilt-edged hardcover like what I have (so worth it).
posted by Mizu at 7:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Put another way: I am sure I'm not the only person who has made an FPP about something I have mixed feelings about but still find interesting. It's possible to disagree with a premise or absolutely fucking hate an article, and still be okay with it appearing on MetaFilter. NoraReed isn't the user who is asking for things to be deleted here.
posted by juliplease at 7:20 PM on January 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't say anything about the subject again.

I'm sorry, are all you guys arguing that this kind of "I WILL TAKE MY BALL(s) AND GO HOME" behavior from a bunch of whiny titty man babies is okay and should be enabled really aware of what you are arguing for? Amazingly enough, when some random barges into a conversation that has been going on around him for literal decades and his only contribution is "BUT HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO ME", he's not really going to be making much in the way of valuable

I mean, unless you're arguing that a bunch of dudes are saying "I see that sexism is wrong and that I'm contributing to it... but they were MEAN ON THE INTERNET to me, now I'm going to go make rape jokes, sexually harass women on the street, intentionally refuse to do my share of household chores and child-rearing, insist my wife quit her job, and openly ogle women in my workplace!", and that not only is this somehow acceptable and not a sign that they're terrible fucking people, but also the fault of women.

The funny thing is that the cluelessness and general uselessness of these kinds of "give me validation for basic human decency" dudes in terms of contributing to the actual on-going discussion of comics and sexism and objectification, or whatever it is they happen to be chiming into, is that if they'd actually really been aware of the issue and paid attention all the times it was raised by women back before these dudes recognized it was an opportunity for self-promotion, they'd be aware of the existence of male role models who have done a pretty good job of contributing to that conversation in constructive, positive ways. Say whatever else you will about the guy, Warren Ellis has been consistently awesome about women in comics for decades, without ever making it about him or publishing any Epiphany Pieces that I'm aware of, despite having been raising a daughter during most of that time. He just promotes female comics artists and writers and their work and hires them for his own books, not even as an explicitly feminist thing most of time, but because he cares about quality in comics and admires their work.

But these thinkpiece jokers wouldn't know that because their real interest in this debate is how it relates to them and how many clicks they can get out of once again writing about themselves, and yes, that's narcissistic.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 7:21 PM on January 15, 2015 [52 favorites]


Put another way: I am sure I'm not the only person who has made an FPP about something I have mixed feelings about but still find interesting. It's possible to disagree with a premise or absolutely fucking hate an article, and still be okay with it appearing on MetaFilter. NoraReed isn't the user who is asking for things to be deleted here.

I agree with this. For instance, last year I posted a Buzzfeed news article about California prisoner-firefighters, both because I thought the subject was interesting in itself and because I thought the article was a good example of neoliberal propaganda. I had mixed feelings about it, but I still thought it made a good post, and I didn't take any of the critical commentary in the thread as though it were directed toward me.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:26 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


But I think you're missing the point, The Master and Margarita Mix, that feminism is actually supposed to be about men's feelings. Seen from that perspective all of this wittering is perfectly comprehensible.
posted by winna at 7:28 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


norareed i need pictures of this $6.47 kebab i allegedly bought u

norareed how do i know

i am not a crank
posted by boo_radley at 7:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wittering! What a lovely new word for me. Thank you! I love it.
posted by jaguar at 7:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


*sarcasm meter explodes*
posted by uosuaq at 7:31 PM on January 15, 2015


Can I say as a side note I'm actually super stoked that other women hate the "I had a daughter and now I care about sexism" thing as much as I do? I've always hated it for the reasons enumerated here and in the original thread - that surely the dude must have encountered other women in his life (like at the bare minimum the woman he procreated with?) but apparently he was sort of blithely stumbling along never giving a shit about how they might feel about this stuff. I have always also wondered whether I was being extra pissy and bitter to think this and so it's gratifying to read I'm not alone.
posted by supercrayon at 7:33 PM on January 15, 2015 [75 favorites]


(I'm not sure if I exploded the sarcasm meter, or if the exploding of the sarcasm meter was sarcastic, or if my previous wittering means that my current appreciation of the word "wittering" is explosively ironic, or if that comment had nothing at all to do with me, or what, but to be clear: I had never heard the word "wittering" before, and I non-sarcastically adore it and am glad to have learned it.)
posted by jaguar at 7:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


New words are always a good time!

Also kebabs but the only kebab place in my town is dreadful so alack.
posted by winna at 7:35 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


cool maybe once he's there I'll give a shit about what he has to say. until then, I'm allowed to be fucking sick of reading "man has daughter and decides the shit he learned from that experience has made him enlightened" thinkpieces getting space and attention that maybe could go toward the words of people who know what the fuck they're talking about (read: women).

(a) No, you won't.
(b) I hope no one is talking about what you're *allowed* to do or be. But if you're just sick of this stuff, maybe we got the point from the first dozen times you said so in previous threads.
(c) There's not really a space limit -- although there might be an attention limit -- here. I don't see this post as diverting precious resources from other posts about the same general topic today. (I do see it as a little "thin" for a MeFi post, though, frankly.)
(d) The author knows what he's talking about, because he's talking about his own experience.

actually, even then, I'll still be sick of reading that shit, because I've heard it 10,000 times before, just like I bet philosophers are sick of "what if the green I see isn't the green you see" and biologists are sick of talking about intelligent design, except with the added bullshit of those shitty boring questioners having credibility because they happen to be men in a patriarchy

(a1) See (a).
(b1) Your comparison to philosophers and biologists is spot-on, and
(c1) Yes, being men in a patriarchy they still get too much attention.
posted by uosuaq at 7:36 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure if I exploded the sarcasm meter

Sorry, jaguar, that comment was meant to follow winna's comment (what can I say, I love sarcasm), but I guess I was typing too slowly.
posted by uosuaq at 7:39 PM on January 15, 2015


norareed i need pictures of this $6.47 kebab i allegedly bought u

i am buying it tomorrow before DnD. it takes the bank a long time to figure out PayPal!! i will post kebab updates as they become available, though, do not fear
posted by NoraReed at 7:40 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


That the comment was favorited by so many is depressing; I hope some were at least bookmarking it as an egregious example of sexist rhetoric.

Eh. I think the male gender will survive. Maybe let the MRAs do their own whining?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:42 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


I hope no one is talking about what you're *allowed* to do or be.

Huh? Telling NoraReed what she should be allowed to do is basically the entire premise of this thread, as far as I can tell.
posted by dialetheia at 7:43 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm sorry, did we skip over the part where misha tried to justify the "Ima lock my daughter up forever" as a joke?

" That was one throwaway line about a shitty joke he made in an entire mea culpa of a post. "

Because I am pretty sure "Lol, just kidding" hasn't been a justification for saying something shitty... ever.

(for the record, also down with Norareed's comment, very glad someone said it and fav'd it because I agreed with it - and this whole pose reads like a big whiny immature "Wah I don't like NoraReed" callout rather than an actual callout of the specific comment.)
posted by FritoKAL at 7:45 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


bunch of whiny titty man babies is okay and should be enabled

I grew up raised 2nd wave feminist. My Mom is totally unique. Part of my training was to have really tight control of my emotions. Honestly too much, to the point where current therapy is focusing on loosening the reins a little.

But one thing I've never understood, and I say this as a transgender person raised to be a gentle man, is how typically, men will often portray themselves as macho and unfeeling, as people with ultimate control of their emotions and feelings and expression of both. But if one raises a single vital or pointed criticism or worse, actually hold these folks responsible for and to their emotions, this control goes completely out the window.

When I have had dealings with folks like these, I've invariably been completely astounded by the difference between stated emotional competency and real emotional competency. This stated emotional control and competency often such complete horseshit that I fully endorse the characterization of folks like this as "whiny titty man babies".
posted by kalessin at 7:46 PM on January 15, 2015 [34 favorites]


Norareed's comment was awesome. Sorry that you weren't able to favorite it, misha.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:47 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Telling NoraReed what she should be allowed to do is basically the entire premise of this thread, as far as I can tell.

You might have a point there, dialetheia. I'd forgotten how the thread started.
posted by uosuaq at 7:49 PM on January 15, 2015


cool maybe once he's there I'll give a shit about what he has to say. until then, I'm allowed to be fucking sick of reading "man has daughter and decides the shit he learned from that experience has made him enlightened"

You can also just hit the back button instead of exposing yourself to it. I've done a lot of angry posting in my day so I understand the catharsis but I do think misha has a point that this comment was at least close to threadshitty.

Mostly I just scream expletives at the screen but then try and compose as polite as possible a comment as I can now, just as a courtesy to others.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


One thing I'm reminded of a little bit is Chris Rock's bit from Bring the Pain where he's talking about people taking credit for the shit they're supposed to do. ("I take care of my kids" "You're supposed to you dumb motherfucker...what do you want, a cookie?"). Maybe it's the "he wants a cookie" references above? But anyway, that's kind of what articles like this are like--you're supposed to not be sexist, you low-expectations-having-motherfucker, to paraphrase Chris Rock.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [44 favorites]


my courtesy to others was leaving that Young Avengers rec on the end

I love Young Avengers so much :')
posted by NoraReed at 7:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow, fucked up that the mods are allowing this Young Avengers shit to stay when they keep deleting all my comments about the late-90s Generation X book that featured Skin who was probably the best mutant to be invented in the last twenty years
posted by Greg Nog at 8:13 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


you have never been more wrong, this is so typical of you mutants
posted by poffin boffin at 8:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


what do you mean by "you mutants"
posted by Greg Nog at 8:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's just to make it easier to search for. It's actually micro mutants.
posted by gilrain at 8:20 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


[ a few comments deleted. folks, magneto/xavier slash fic may not be everybody's thing. ]
posted by uosuaq at 8:21 PM on January 15, 2015 [18 favorites]


"women in my life who i respect, like for instance the one i married and had a child with, aren't able to participate as breezily in something i find great joy in because it's packed full with sexist messaging," but instead almost always seems to be, "i had a daughter and suddenly this sexist work just popped up around me! who would've thought!"

Speaking just about my life, I met my wife as an adult, who had plenty of fully-formed preferences about what kind of entertainment she likes. She has never had the slightest interest in superhero comics, and I really have no idea how much of that is because she thinks superheroes are silly and violent or how much is because she is put off by the way comics objectify women.

But with my daughters, I've been watching their interests and preferences form. The entire cultural landscape is available and now I'm partly seeing everything from the perspective of these girls who are evaluating things, wondering what they will give thumbs up or thumbs down to, and why. That's a very different mindset than I've had before, and from that perspective, all the stuff that ignores, excludes, or is outright hostile to girls and women stands out much more than it ever has before.
posted by straight at 8:22 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


I somehow missed that post. Thanks for pointing me to NoraReed's awesome comment. I wouldn't have seen it otherwise.
posted by Mavri at 8:28 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Telling NoraReed what she should be allowed to do is basically the entire premise of this thread

The entire premise of many Meta threads is about what people are allowed to say on this site. That's the difference between Metafilter and Reddit. We make some attempt at moderation.
posted by alms at 8:29 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


soured the thread early on

I read the thread and I didn't think it soured anything. I love NoraReed and she knows her stuff and I value her comments, because they educate me.

I am currently reading Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austion Grossman.

I am not a comic book reader (since I was a kid) and I do watch movies like X-Men and I guess Marvel stuff, when it comes out. But it seems like my ex-husband bitching about how I made his viewing experience of pageant shows less enjoyable because I objected to him doing it in front of my 9 year old daughter. Yeah, I was a bitch. Kinda like NoraReed. Excuse me while I play my tiny violin for you.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:31 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


The entire premise of many Meta threads is about what people are allowed to say on this site. That's the difference between Metafilter and Reddit. We make some attempt at moderation.

... and this is moderation, and literally nobody agrees with you that criticising the content of an FPP is equivalent to calling the OP a fuckwit.

So, cool? Cool.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really have no idea how much of that is because she thinks superheroes are silly and violent or how much is because she is put off by the way comics objectify women.

That's interesting that you have no idea why your wife doesn't share this particular interest of yours that sounds like an important part of your life. Have you asked her why? Are you interested in understanding her viewpoint better? If so, I hope you will post again and let us know what your wife said about why she believes she never developed that interest.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 8:46 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


Okay, Greg Nog, I'm letting you off the hook this time for not saying Prodigy is the best mutant because a) he lost his powers and b) he's a Young Avenger these days and not really much with the X-Men crowd, but he is fucking great and if you disagree I will fight you
posted by NoraReed at 8:51 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry, you're all wrong. Squirrel Girl. Best mutant.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]



That's interesting that you have no idea why your wife doesn't share this particular interest of yours that sounds like an important part of your life. Have you asked her why? Are you interested in understanding her viewpoint better? If so, I hope you will post again and let us know what your wife said about why she believes she never developed that interest.


Come on, that's kind of a douchey. IDK, as someone who has been guilty of being overzealous with the "but why don't you love this thing that i love i don't understand man i thought we were bros" stuff when I was a wee nerd, I don't think it's necessarily worthy of snark if a dude is actually doing the right thing and just taking his wife's word at face value when she says she's not into his nerdy hobby and not pestering her with a lot of "but why, just explain it to me whyyyyyyyyyy". Crap, I've been on the other side of that dynamic too, and it sucks.

the best mutant is storm
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 8:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


Asking (and listening to the answer) is not the same as pestering, though. I think the point Bentobox Humperdinck was making was that asking adult women about their experiences and listening to their answers might actually be just as illuminating, or even more so, than interacting with children.
posted by jaguar at 9:00 PM on January 15, 2015 [22 favorites]


there is something wrong with person x because they aren't on the same end of an ideological spectrum,

I will go on record as saying I absolutely think there's something wrong with someone who has to have close personal experience with a situation in order to have any empathy for it. All those Republican politicians whose views on homosexuality finally evolve when their kid comes out as gay? That politician is a defective human being.

And, if anyone's keeping tally, I am completely on board with NoraReed's comment and would have said it myself if it hadn't been said so well by multiple other people. (NoraReed just got there first.)

Also,while I have the floor, along with the gargantuan, horribly painful looking comic book boobs, can They please STOP with the little-girl-looking-up-from-under-her-hair pose for women? It's EVERYWHERE and I HATE IT SO MUCH!!! (That "They're Too Big" Power Girl picture from the article features it, which is what reminded me of it.)

Edit: Nightcrawler is the best mutant, though the movies have made me reconsider Mystique.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:05 PM on January 15, 2015 [21 favorites]


We make some attempt at moderation.

Sometimes, for some persons - not so much for others; if there are more than a few standing on the same line, even if they're the same group who always stand together, no matter how vicious and hateful they get, no matter how vitriolic their language, how short their fuse, how touchy their buttons, it matters not one whit. These people are allowed by the moderators to spew any amount of flame and acid at anyone who doesn't carry their own sword in the group's battle line, effectively slamming to the ground anyone with a conflicting opinion, no matter how civil the presentation. Then the rest of the gang comes in with cheers and tears and then, one at a time, they do what they can to diminish the opposing voice, to cut it to pieces, to ridicule it and the person behind it - and others do the same thing, bang-bang-bang, each with a different name, each with the same hammer.

There is no such thing as civilized discourse when these folks are cruising for something to destroy - and don't, by any means, think their purpose is anything BUT destruction; they don't have any interest in things getting better, no matter what they claim, because if things ever reached the pinnacle of perfection in their own eyes, they'd have nowhere to go with their outrage, their sense of superiority, no one to diminish.

When the attack comes now and the phrase "no matter what they claim" is hit as being a perfect example of my own lack of willingness to accept the words of all comers as honest and truthful, I have only to direct those who wonder to the comments of this particular group - you'll find that questioning a person's sincerity and their own truth as being less than acceptable is part of their everyday strategy - it's all part of the game.

The game that's an okay game here, Level 18 of 25, the game that is only moderated under duress.

misha, I think what hit you when you began the thread about comics on the blue is the sudden explosion of negativity and outrage and flat-out intolerance of anything a man might say when it comes to any aspect of feminism - or femininity, for that matter - or femaleness - as an inherently absurd possibility - and definitely deserving of scorn and condemnation with the Nora Reed comment. Bang! In your face! To me! And along comes the second-string, nadawi et al, and the comic books thread just got sprayed by the tomcat.

IF you have what it takes to pick your way through the next hundred comments looking for input on female-positive comics but trying to bypass the demeaning outrage crew, yes - there are some good ideas for the comics. But what I see is that the whole thread becomes a massive downer when it began in a different direction entirely.
posted by aryma at 9:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm not contesting that, just saying I can totally see any number of reasons that a guy could not want to ask his wife about why she doesn't like something that he knows she doesn't like don't mean the guy is actually being sexist at all. Plus, even in the context of a marriage, sometimes those sorts of "how do your experiences as a [type of person] inform your experience of [thing]?" questions can be tiresome as hell.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, yeah, you can add me as another person who read the article, had the exact same reaction as NoraReed, and favorited her comment because I was coming in to make pretty much the same comment. And I was planning on making a comment with the same point as a way of engaging with the article, not dismissing it, because I love that the community here is willing to engage on a deeper level than giving cookies to people who are puffing out their chests and demanding accolades for being slightly less horrible than usual.
posted by jaguar at 9:08 PM on January 15, 2015 [19 favorites]


Yeah, it really is almost like this is one of the only places on the web where you find people consistently willing to pick apart all the stupid, shitty, sexist things that get said all the time, rather than just letting them go unchallenged as usual.
posted by juliplease at 9:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [9 favorites]


aryma, you realize no one's actually shooting at you, or anyone else, yes? Or even threatening to shoot at you or anyone else. Or spewing acid at you, throwing you to the ground, or hitting you with a hammer. Or threatening to spew acid at you, threatening to throw you to the ground, or threatening to hit you with a hammer. That is simply not happening in any way.
posted by jaguar at 9:11 PM on January 15, 2015 [33 favorites]


Look at how wrong you all are.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:12 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm not contesting that, just saying I can totally see any number of reasons that a guy could not want to ask his wife about why she doesn't like something that he knows she doesn't like don't mean the guy is actually being sexist at all. Plus, even in the context of a marriage, sometimes those sorts of "how do your experiences as a [type of person] inform your experience of [thing]?" questions can be tiresome as hell.

Definitely, but I don't think Bentobox Humperdinck's comment was any sort of accusation of sexism. Just an encouragement to go deeper.
posted by jaguar at 9:13 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't be offended if someone said something like, "hey, maybe you should ask her what she thinks of that," I would probably be like "maybe I'll think about asking what she thinks about that."
posted by oceanjesse at 9:17 PM on January 15, 2015 [4 favorites]


yeah yeah aryma, you're a saint of tolerance and hippie purity and a martyr to The True Spirit Of Metafilter and we're all just the Mean Girl Professional Outrage And Swear Machine.

misha, I think what hit you when you began the thread about comics on the blue is the sudden explosion of negativity and outrage and flat-out intolerance of anything a man might say when it comes to any aspect of feminism

No, fuck this self-serving disengenuous bullshit. I hate self-referencing, but from this very fucking thread: "Say whatever else you will about the guy, Warren Ellis has been consistently awesome about women in comics for decades, without ever making it about him or publishing any Epiphany Pieces that I'm aware of, despite having been raising a daughter during most of that time. He just promotes female comics artists and writers and their work and hires them for his own books, not even as an explicitly feminist thing most of time, but because he cares about quality in comics and admires their work."

Take a minute to consider maybe whether your obvious issues with a rhetorical style you're uncomfortable with are causing you to have shitty reading comprehension in threads like this, because you're certainly doing your own fair share of looking for things to get outraged about.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:20 PM on January 15, 2015 [59 favorites]


the sudden explosion of negativity and outrage and flat-out intolerance of anything a man might say when it comes to any aspect of feminism - or femininity, for that matter - or femaleness - as an inherently absurd possibility -

That's a profoundly inaccurate characterization of the expressions of men speaking up for feminism on MeFi and how their comments are treated. You really have to put on a filter to suggest that "anything a man might say when it comes to any aspect of feminism" results in "negativity and outrage and flat-out intolerance." It's not true, and I'm happy to speak up for the many, many men here who are more than able to participate maturely and respectfully in conversations about feminism; people whose comments are considered, thoughtful and consistently well received. It's unfair of you to lump those members in with people who are not coming from that same place of goodwill, as though there is just absolutely no way for anyone male to make insightful remarks about feminism and related topics. That's really unfair to those men. Your point of view just does not square with our reality here, for which I'm quite thankful, and it does male users on the whole a disservice to suggest it.
posted by Miko at 9:21 PM on January 15, 2015 [81 favorites]


I would like to vehemently agree with Miko and The Master and Margarita Mix but then that'd probably just be piling on, right, so...
posted by rtha at 9:24 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm not gonna lie, Storm is pretty great.

Also I'm kind of hesitant to call a thread about a man using his daughter and comic books as a way to explain basic concepts about objectification and remove his head from his lower intestines while still allowing it to remain firmly up his ass a "comic book thread", at least exclusively, and if you're pissed at the uppity women getting in the way of your comic book discussion, a) maybe post something else about comics and b) maybe read the actual thread in which people, including me, talk about comics. And comic stores. I mean, I was bringing up shit about titles that a good store might have IN THE COMMENT THAT WAS CALLED OUT.

As far as the whining about "intolerance" of men having opinions about feminism, uh, Christ, what rtha said.
posted by NoraReed at 9:26 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


just got sprayed by the tomcat

uh
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 9:26 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


Sometimes, for some persons - not so much for others; if there are more than a few standing on the same line, even if they're the same group who always stand together, no matter how vicious and hateful they get, no matter how vitriolic their language, how short their fuse, how touchy their buttons, it matters not one whit. These people are allowed by the moderators to spew any amount of flame and acid at anyone who doesn't carry their own sword in the group's battle line, effectively slamming to the ground anyone with a conflicting opinion, no matter how civil the presentation. Then the rest of the gang comes in with cheers and tears and then, one at a time, they do what they can to diminish the opposing voice, to cut it to pieces, to ridicule it and the person behind it - and others do the same thing, bang-bang-bang, each with a different name, each with the same hammer.

This is funnier if you imagine Matthew McConaughey saying it while driving a Lincoln.
posted by daisystomper at 9:32 PM on January 15, 2015 [117 favorites]


^that just justified this thread's existence.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 9:34 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


This is funnier if you imagine Matthew McConaughey saying it while driving a Lincoln.

Seriously... brilliant.
posted by jaguar at 9:37 PM on January 15, 2015


Yes, thank you for that.

The Master and Margarita Mix, I have also been on the receiving end of "but why?" pestering. And I've been on the receiving end of "I have no idea why Bento feels that way" from a partner who never asked. I phrased it as a question on purpose: "Have you asked her why?" Because if the answer was "Yes, I asked, and she doesn't want to say why," then I wouldn't suggest asking anymore. I wasn't picturing straight as the pestering type. I just thought since he enjoyed his daughters' process of thumbs-upping and thumbs-downing, he might have some curiosity about what it was like for his wife going through that process as a little girl.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 9:42 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Normally I try not to question the sincerity or bona fides of people's interest in nerdy hobbies no matter what their level of familiarity or background, because fuck it, as a woman I know how bullshit this is and I can only imagine it's even worse for things like black folks in white-dominated hobbies, but aryma, given you're actually going on about "Level 18 of 25, the game that is only moderated under duress" what the fuck ever Commentariat Conspiracy Hour shit you've concocted: do you actually care that much about or have any interest in comics apart from providing the grist with which to grind your axe?

Not that sincere interest is required to read blue posts or be concerned about their contents or the tenor of debate or anything like that, but if we're talking about "looking for outrage" and suggesting that "maybe just don't read it" is a legitimate response to good faith criticism of something in a FPP, I'd really like to know the answer. And I'm not suggesting that I know it, either. But if you're going to accuse people of playing games or whatever madness you are suggesting, I don't think it's unfair to ask you to be transparent about your own motives.

Bento: Fair enough. I'm probably oversensitive about that kind of thing - like, as a general rule I think it is something that more men should do with their female partners, it's just that comics is such an Area Where Enthusiasts Can Get Kind Of Weird that I'm kind of kneejerk about not being That Guy about them.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:49 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Do most people conclusively know why they don't like a particular thing?

Like, I don't like contemporary country music. I could probably say some reasons I don't like it (boring sound, trite lyrics, too manufactured, etc), but I probably couldn't get too deep into the complex cultural reasoning behind those tastes. I couldn't tell you anything insightful about why I, as the person that I am, specifically dislike this one particular subgenre of music.

Are most people self-aware enough that they can say "Well I went to a comic shop once and the degree to which the artwork panders to male fantasies turned me off*", at least in a way that's intellectually honest? Especially for an interest that is culturally weighted away from what they are "supposed" to like. It's very easy, as a woman, to just never really even think of comic books as an option, hobby-wise. To have no opinion of them whatsoever. I also have no particular explanation of why I don't enjoy watching sports, or shooting guns, or mud-riding ATVs.

There might be some women who specifically dislike comics for reasons of sexism, but it's much more likely that you'll find women who never really unpacked their apathy for that particular interest. Or if they've given it any thought, it was along different lines or not far from the reasons I dislike contemporary/pop country.

*Not saying this doesn't actually happen -- it happened to me! -- I'm just not sure most people's reasoning behind their interests is really that cut and dried.
posted by Sara C. at 9:54 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's wrecking a lot of opportunities to have genuine dialogue and connection on the internet. There's certainly a lot of yelling and indignation going on under the guise of tough love and social action

True! It's smart to be polite to the other people who are part of our dialogue!

People who are not actually part of the thread's dialogue, a partial list:
-the comic book dad blogger.

People who are actually part of the thread's dialogue, a partial list:
-NoraReed.
posted by feral_goldfish at 9:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [28 favorites]


posted by jaguar at 12:37 AM

There is a Dodge/Lincoln tableau vivant of automobiles in there, somewhere.
As evidenced apostori via me tv strangely, I favor the Dart.
None the less, having read the thread I see no thread feces no de-rail, no shouty grand standing. No abject flip knee jerk reflexive thing.
No M-80s, no watercraft slashing
No wheelies in the parking lot.
posted by clavdivs at 10:02 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


Late come to the thread but yeah, NoraReed said it a bit harsher than I might have, but dead on. /former comic book shop clerk, SHRILL FEMINIST!
posted by immlass at 10:03 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


… No one deserves a cookie for "I'm coming around to your issue, now that it affects me personally …”
… you must be a narcissist who wants cookies for trying to do better …
… oh good let's give this guy a fucking cookie …
… "I take care of my kids" "You're supposed to you dumb motherfucker...what do you want, a cookie?” …
… willing to engage on a deeper level than giving cookies to people …


The above are just some of the most tragic, saddening comments in this thread. I weep for the future of MetaFilter when our discourse is so drenched in one of the most horrifying prejudices that affects our civilisation.

Hi. quidnunc kid here, President and CEO of quidnunc’s quality cookies Ltd. You know, anti-cookie prejudice is a disease that has claimed more lives than almost any real disease (save perhaps for hypobiscuitia). It is a very real, very frightening form of discrimination which makes all those other forms of discrimination seem pretty great in comparison. Also, it really hurts our sales. That’s why quidnunc’s quality cookies Ltd is proud to support all other forms of hateful prejudice instead. We are actually funding most of the bile-producing "isms" and "phobias" that you may have heard of, and a few new ones that our development people have just come up with. So the next time you refuse to give someone a cookie, just remember that our cookies are far more harmful in your own pocket. A lot of them are made of poison, to be honest. Sure - selling poisonous foodstuffs hurts our sales too, but … OK I haven’t really got a cogent and justifiable explanation for our policies, now I think about it. Actually I guess you could say that I am worse than Hitler. Shit. But hang on - now that I’ve come to that realisation, which is a very hard realisation for me to come to, I think that you’ll agree that I deserve your unwavering support. So please buy our cookies, and give one to me. Not a poison one, though, please. Ok? Please? Ok.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:06 PM on January 15, 2015 [49 favorites]


I'm not suggesting there is or should be a cut-and dried answer, Sara C. I just think it's really interesting to say "I have no idea why my spouse doesn't like x." And then go on to say what an awesome experience it is to watch your kids deciding whether or not they like x and why or why not. I don't think just knowing the factual answer of "she doesn't like it because foo" holds particular value, but it seems like there is potentially tremendous value in the process of moving from "I have no idea why" toward a deeper understanding.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 10:14 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Man, no "greatest mutant" love for Franklin Richards or Jaime Braddock? Beyonder can't win because he was only retconned mutant. But "control reality" is pretty much the top limit, innit?
posted by klangklangston at 10:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


Like, I don't like contemporary country music. I could probably say some reasons I don't like it (boring sound, trite lyrics, too manufactured, etc), but I probably couldn't get too deep into the complex cultural reasoning behind those tastes. I couldn't tell you anything insightful about why I, as the person that I am, specifically dislike this one particular subgenre of music.

Yeah, I don't like comics. I have attempted to read them at various points in my life and I have never found a single one I enjoy. I enjoy the stories just fine when you put them in animated or live action movie form but something about the half book/half images presentation style just completely fails to engage with my imagination and I can't explain why.

It is totally a niche hobby though. It's like asking why someone doesn't like stamp collecting.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:15 PM on January 15, 2015


Yeah, I don't like comics.

I can recommend Age of Bronze.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:18 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


For me, all my niche interests come out in the first few months of dating, and I've never had a dude not be able to tell me in detail why he did or didn't like any of them. I cannot fathom knowing someone long enough to marry them and have multiple children with them, which children I then introduce to my hobbies, and still have "no idea" why my spouse isn't into what I'm into.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 10:20 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


I don't know, maybe I've just never experienced true connection with another person before, but this is not something that has ever really come up between me and even my most serious partners. If I don't share an interest with someone, we just talk about other things rather than dissecting what specifically the non-hobbyist has against the hobby in question. I might say "Oh man look I think shooter video games are cool but tbh I really suck at them" or "Football is too violent" or whatever, but we're probably not going to go ten rounds about the deep seated socio-cultural reasons for that stuff.

Most people can't even explain in a cohesive way why they do the gendered grooming rituals they do. Expecting to get a real answer to a question like "Why don't you enjoy this explicitly gendered hobby?" is pretty optimistic in the grand scheme of people talking about gender.

Meanwhile, when you have a kid, in a lot of ways you are that kid's main conduit for interacting with the world, so you're getting a constant stream of consciousness about their thoughts about literally everything.

(FWIW my father never even asked me why I didn't like comic books. So at least this guy has that. A less enlightened dad would have just assumed his daughter didn't like comics because girls don't like comics, duh.)
posted by Sara C. at 10:28 PM on January 15, 2015 [10 favorites]


Actually, you know, I don't know if "control reality" is the top limit? They've kind of always been a tiny little bit ambiguous with the basis of Scarlet Witch's power anyway, but remember that time Nate Grey was like the mutant World-Shaman Aspect of Earth Warchief Shaman Of Earth and like, saved reality by merging his cells with the Earth and like...

Man, everyone who worked at Marvel during the 90s was on ALL THE DRUGS, weren't they?
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Actually for most powerful, wouldn't it be Bobby Drake? He can create cold, that straight up breaks THE law of Physics.
posted by FritoKAL at 10:36 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


the best mutant is Aldo Kelrast, who died of a broken heart to save the universe from a Dark Phoenix/Mary Worth singularity

also he was a Timelord

bowties are cool

posted by cortex (staff) at 10:42 PM on January 15, 2015 [15 favorites]


What's the rush to get right to the bottom of one's SO's every little preference, anyway? My bf may live to experience another 60 years of conversations with me. A chilling prospect for any young man. Much better to hold something back for 2047, in my view.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 11:11 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]




I agreed completely with NoraReed's comment while still finding it unnecessarily aggro in a way she's been called out for (by non-misha users, even!) before.

It's not about protecting the original author's feelings or making sure no man gets an emotional boo-boo, it's just that it raises the temperature in a conversation in an unnecessary way.

I do find the continued refrain of, 'If you don't do these things or aren't this way, then this isn't about you' disquieting, though. It reminds me too much of, 'Oh, not you! You're one of the *good* ones.'
posted by gadge emeritus at 11:16 PM on January 15, 2015 [17 favorites]


"but remember that time Nate Grey was like the mutant World-Shaman Aspect of Earth Warchief Shaman Of Earth and like, saved reality by merging his cells with the Earth and like..."

You mean when they bit Moore's Swamp Thing? Yeah.
posted by klangklangston at 11:37 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not about protecting the original author's feelings or making sure no man gets an emotional boo-boo, it's just that it raises the temperature in a conversation in an unnecessary way.

This, exactly. It's distracting, diverting, and completely unnecessary.

The points can be made without the incendiaries. I wonder sometimes if Nora Reed and nadawi speak to real human people in their physical space the same way they do here - do you jump like a wild thing on something you hear someone say that offends your feminist spirit? Do you stand up in a crowd and let it rip when someone speaking says something that you interpret as ignorant of what it means to be a true ally of feminism and you feel a need to set 'em straight? Or do you save the vitriol for this place where you're known and highly respected and you have the right to speak whatever you want, no matter how rude you choose to be?

One more comment and I'm outta here - I love the "as a woman" phrase from this crowd; it's as though being a woman - and announcing it at the starting gate - means you think you're speaking for all women, meaning 50% of the adult human population; that's one heck of an assumption and I find that really offensive, but it's silly enough I overlook it easily. It's the hair-trigger heat that you feel justified in just because someone doesn't come up to your standards that sets my teeth to grinding.
posted by aryma at 11:50 PM on January 15, 2015 [12 favorites]


Yup - I've been talking about comics, and the presence of norareed's comment has not prevented me from doing this at all.

Funny how rarely this perspective is adopted during discussion of all the "completely justifiable" deletions of "stupid" comments--the ones that Mefites on average simply don't agree with.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:55 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


you have the right to speak whatever you want, no matter how rude you choose to be?

Nobody has that right here; I think you're angry more at what's being said than at how it's being said.

(And as for rude: this and your previous comment are making pretty direct and blunt personal attacks on members here, both broadly and specifically.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [19 favorites]


Do you stand up in a crowd and let it rip when someone speaking says something that you interpret as ignorant of what it means to be a true ally of feminism and you feel a need to set 'em straight?

Fuck yes I do. I'd say sorry that this seems to be something pitiable and mockable to you but I have realized that I do not give a single shit about your garbage opinions.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:14 AM on January 16, 2015 [56 favorites]


It's not about protecting the original author's feelings or making sure no man gets an emotional boo-boo, it's just that it raises the temperature in a conversation in an unnecessary way.

I don't see how you can say that these two aren't one and the same, especially considering we have a number of commenters in this very thread essentially complaining about exactly that.

I mean, what is this "temperature raising" supposed to invoke, given exactly what NoraReed's comment was about? Obviously a few people have brought up the "author's feelings" canard, that I think we can safely discount as an issue for anyone objecting to (or supporting) NoraReed's comment in good faith, but what exactly is going to happen if the heat gets "unecessarily" turned up in a thread about comics and sexism, other than, yes, a bunch of whiny ass titty man babies start crying about how people should be more "precise" in their commentary? Please explain what you think that temperature raising could lead to that's objectionable that doesn't boil down to, essentially, overly sensitive privileged guys getting mad about an legitimate criticism of other privileged guys. I'm just not seeing it.

Nobody has that right here; I think you're angry more at what's being said than at how it's being said.

On preview: this. Not just for aryma and gadge emeritus, but a whole lot of people in this thread.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 12:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [20 favorites]


also a bit late to this, but i would be upset if this type of comment was deleted, and i went in to a thread about that blog post and did NOT see a comment like that near the top.

there was some stinky bullshit in that post, and quite a bit of "wow look at me aren't i so great!" sort of smarm to it. i think it deserved this harsh of a response.

i realize a lot of people here are more moderate on it, like "i get why it should have stayed but i see how it's harsh", but i think it's completely on point. there's nothing weird at all about being completely tired of that smug nerdy dude attitude.
posted by emptythought at 12:28 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


I wonder sometimes if Nora Reed and nadawi speak to real human people in their physical space the same way they do here - do you jump like a wild thing on something you hear someone say that offends your feminist spirit?

Absolutely. Sometimes it really sucks and people I love have been pretty damn hurtful. I do the same for things I find racist, things I find transphobic, and things I find ableist (actually, mentioning I'm removing all slurs from my language opens up a surprising number of conversations like this). I do this at work, too, and to my clients (our company has a no-discrimination policy). The activism I do online informs and is informed by the activism I do offline.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:30 AM on January 16, 2015 [27 favorites]


I'm going to say something that is probably unpopular with lots of people (and maybe it's already been said, it's a long thread and I haven't been able to read it all), but I don't think the main problem is with the guy, or with Nora Reed. The guy is still a misogynist, but less of a misogynist. That's an overall bad situation, but an improvement to a bad situation. And I'm totally on board with what Nora said. But why on earth did the poster think this would make a good post? If a racist guy became less racist, but was still racist, I'd be happy that the situation improved, but I wouldn't think "I should post this to Metafilter!"
posted by Bugbread at 12:34 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Been reading the whole thread, and I just wanted to say that it is important that someone said what NoraReed did, and moreover I am glad that she let the anger show instead of trying to bury it under a layer of fake pleasantries. Always am.

I hear a lot of talk of "let's not make potential allies uncomfortable," but I'm calling bullshit on it. When people in a marginalized group are overly polite, it just makes it easier to brush off their concerns with a 'oh it wasn't a big deal,' or 'we'll see about it after we handle the Really Important Things as decided by us.' I'm not even talking about from enemies, I mean from people who consider themselves friends.

Anger makes it harder to let shit slide like that. If someone is genuinely upset, it signals, "Pay attention now, not when it is convenient."

People who react to anger that is presented in a reasoned, articulate way by giving up and leaving? They were never really on board, and catering to them is a waste of resources.

Upon preview:
The points can be made without the incendiaries.

Even if I agreed with this, the rest of what you said was so rotten as to completely undercut the argument. If you want to play Miss Manners, lead by example.
posted by mordax at 12:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [44 favorites]


But why on earth did the poster think this would make a good post? If a racist guy became less racist, but was still racist, I'd be happy that the situation improved, but I wouldn't think "I should post this to Metafilter!"

i actually enjoy when stuff that's less than great gets posted here. because the comments are always top quality, even if the actual thing being discussed is mediocre to bad. i also love it when it's something i know i'll have to see over and over on social media and the web at large getting lauded as some great triumph when it's really half way to pretty crap, and i can come here to find a room of people talking about how and why it sucks in an intelligent way.

this post has already gotten a ton of traction elsewhere. none of that is a good reason for it to be posted here, but i definitely enjoy the fact that it was.
posted by emptythought at 12:58 AM on January 16, 2015 [25 favorites]


I agree about the quality of discussion (and I liked Nora's comment), but I think that's a silver lining on a cloud. But I didn't realize this had gotten general traction, which kinda changes my outlook on it.
posted by Bugbread at 1:05 AM on January 16, 2015


Thank you for answering my question. I'm more likely than anyone I know to step up and speak out when I find someone yelling at a child or berating someone or bullying someone, and I go to council meetings and speak up there and stuff like that, but I've never yet encountered anyone standing out in a crowd and expressing their dismay with someone's seeming anti-feminism remarks - I guess it just hasn't happened yet. I'm not likely to jump up and defend an adult who's crossed the feminist line, because in general adults can take care of themselves, but the fact that you are firing off your rage into crowds of strangers is commendable in that it shows the serious kind of commitment that rings true as opposed to generalized internet noise. Would still like to hear from Nora Reed and nadawi, rtha, Miko, jaguar, Master and Margarita Mix, omiewise, Etrigan, moon orb, sgt serenity, etc. - whoever would like to set my thinking straight - hah.

For the record, I think this man is as hapless as most of us have been when dealing with the parenting of a 7-year-old child, particularly a child of the opposite gender from ourselves. Just because we're parents doesn't mean we're filled to bursting with knowledge and wisdom and insight - the truth is, as anyone knows who has raised children - we grow with the children - they teach us just as much or more than we teach them. I think this poor man is doing his level best to be a good father and learn how to be a better one. Okay. That means I don't think he's a sexist jerk or any of the other terms used to describe him by these overheated feminists above and I think - naively, I guess - that not every damn post needs to be an excuse for an attack of outrage from somebody.

I noted on the thread about the difficulties for Jewish people that I found a little short blip to be a pleasant and heartwarming little delight in among a lot of horror stories and my comment was immediately reduced to "a comment that doesn't belong here" or something similar - because it didn't contribute anything to the fightiness and the anger. So - no good stuff, please - argument and anger only.

Similarly, the man in this story and his daughter are growing up together and I find that idea to reflect the good stuff I see in the world every day - it's not earthshakingly important, but it's good to know that people are trying to be good parents and learn things that will help them be better parents in the future. When every positive thing is torn down and the good scorched off so we can get at whatever ugly stuff is left in the ash pile, I wonder what we're trying to build here - or anywhere. Do we really want things to improve? Or do we just want to bitch and complain?

Every voice needs to be heard - I won't apologize for looking for and appreciating what little positive things I can find - because there IS a good side and it also gets to speak up.

And yes, I'll get just as cranky as the rest of you if necessary because when you try to invalidate my own experience or viewpoint it makes me angry and I'll say so just like you do. I have manners, but I can play in mud right alongside y'all if necessary.
posted by aryma at 1:07 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


As a white, hetero, middle-class guy who has coasted on privilege a lot in his life despite not realizing it, I adore comments like the called-out one from NoraReed--they help wake me up and understand things in ways I have a hard time seeing from my "society's default person" point-of-view. Even if I agree and recognize the problem being pointed out, I learn a lot just from hearing someone else articulate their reaction.

Whenever I read something and feel shitty afterwards because I think I'm being picked on (so to speak), it's a really reliable indicator that I'm not doing very well on something I thought I was doing OK with.

My ADHD coach (yeah, I know, but it helps!) has helped me in that regard. If you fuck up, apologize if needed, but don't beat yourself up too much. Instead of approaching things judgmentally, approach them curiously. "Wow, that was kind of fucked up. How did it happen? Is there something I can do to not let it happen again?" Etc.

It's actually kind of fun to try and stand outside yourself in this way.
posted by maxwelton at 1:12 AM on January 16, 2015 [41 favorites]


I wonder sometimes if Nora Reed and nadawi speak to real human people in their physical space the same way they do here - do you jump like a wild thing on something you hear someone say that offends your feminist spirit?

Not always, because I'm not going to put my physical safety on the line, but yeah, I do call this shit out in meatspace, and I do it on Twitter and I sometimes email organizations about it. I've found that it's way, way better to be around people who don't constantly make me cringe with their shitty opinions and who I don't have to be in a defensive crouch around because they might drop a turd in the middle of a conversation where they deny the humanity of me or someone I love based on shitty bigotry.

I post feminist stuff on Facebook and wear a shirt that says QUEER on it and will put people the fuck down by being way, way smarter and better informed than them and speaking coldly and glaring over my glasses and you know what? Even with my adorable tiny nose and puffy skirts, I can be fucking FORMIDABLE, and dudes can pretty easily figure out that they're gonna look like goddamn fools if they decide to go after those points.

It's easier for me, I think, because I'm an introvert. I end up dividing 75% of my meatspace social time between my boyfriend, my best friend and my parents. But it's so, so draining to be around thoughtless people with shitty, humanity-denying opinions that it's worth lashing into somebody every once in a while and driving those people away to avoid having to sit there and cringe, waiting for someone to say something that isn't just hurtful and disappointing, but expected.

But you know what? If I wasn't in a position where I felt like I could do that, where I felt like I was safe enough in my social circle and in my family and wherever else, to share this part of myself, I think it'd be even more valuable for me to have a place where my frustration could be expressed, because I'd have even more of it. When you're in that kind of a place in your life-- one where there are few safe spaces, where you have to put up with harassment and bigotry and watching people tear you and your loved ones down either thoughtlessly or for fun-- it gaslights you; it makes you constantly think that they're right, that you're overreacting to harassment or sexist background radiation or the side-eye that you get when you hold your partner's hand.

Anger and frustration are felt for a reason and dismissing them can often act as a dismissal of their cause, too, and it almost always is an attempt to enforce a status quo that only allows the anger of the oppressors to be felt and to matter, and that isn't okay. "Do you act like that in REAL LIFE" is shitty for a lot of reasons, but the fact that it often reads as "you know how you're treated in those spaces where you are more oppressed and hate yourself? be like that more" is one of the worst ones.

And seriously, "feminist spirit?" Augh.
posted by NoraReed at 2:05 AM on January 16, 2015 [113 favorites]



Every voice needs to be heard - I won't apologize for looking for and appreciating what little positive things I can find - because there IS a good side and it also gets to speak up.

No one is trying to censor you. Quite the opposite; you seem to be arguing for the censoring of someone who disagrees with you, being NoraReed. Playing the martyr here is beneath you, or indeed anyone.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:21 AM on January 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


Well, Nora's comment now has 164 favorites. Pretty clearly the sites consensus that it should not have been deleted. I'm part of that consensus. (flagged as fantastic).

So, thanks for this meta, for pointing out that comment... I'd also like to thank folks here on my next 2 bands names.*

- Mean Girl Professional Outrage And Swear Machine. (this should be a metal band with a bad-ass frontwoman)
- Commentariat Conspiracy Hour. (perhaps in the portishead style with some Robert Anton Wilson inspired lyrics).

* I won't actually start either of these bands. Mainly because I can't play any instruments, nor sing.
posted by el io at 3:13 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


I wonder if the mods keep any stats regarding MeTa clusterfuck threads. There seemed to be a longish lapse up to the most recent two. I wonder if they place bets or try to make some sort of amusement out of it. It's gotta be extremely draining. It sure sucks energy out of the rest of the site when it occurs, or maybe that's just my perception.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 3:28 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Come on, would it be so hard to just give the guy a fucking cookie and be done with it? One of the stale oatmeals no one wanted at Christmas? I mean it's not like he wants the pot roast or the truffle oil.
posted by spitbull at 3:34 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Every voice needs to be heard - I won't apologize for looking for and appreciating what little positive things I can find - because there IS a good side and it also gets to speak up.


So how exactly is "this voice is unacceptable" compatible with that?

Are some voices suppressive? the person who wrote this isn't reading these comments. Who is being hurt by someone disagreeing with it here? This definitely qualifies as substantial criticism, not just "this is shit and i don't like it".

I don't see how this viewpoint isn't "all voices matter except for the ones i disagree with".

Yawn.
posted by emptythought at 3:40 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: "all voices matter except for the ones i disagree with"
posted by Drinky Die at 3:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Whenever I read something and feel shitty afterwards because I think I'm being picked on (so to speak), it's a really reliable indicator that I'm not doing very well on something I thought I was doing OK with.


So are you saying that when you read something and it makes you feel shitty because the disapproved behavior is your behavior you think that means you're the one in the wrong and you deserve to feel bad - is that right? With all due respect, I'd suggest that this thinking parallels that of the victim of domestic abuse who believes that she/he deserves to get beaten up and beaten down all the time because they just keep screwing up. Don't always give in to that idea right away or too thoroughly.

Playing the martyr here is beneath you, or indeed anyone.

Good timing on that one.

So, Nora, you do Facebook and Twitter and e-mail and MetaFilter and other online muscle-flexing and intimidation-type badass behavior because you're not going to take any shit 'offa anybody, right? You keep your rage to the written word as much as possible and stay away from other humans, other than those who are intimately close to you, in order to form a shield of protection around yourself that is as fiery and dangerous as you can make it so that no one can get in too close because they are undoubtedly going to hurt you either deliberately or thoughtlessly and you ARE NOT going to be hurt ever again if you can help it, is that right? So the way you do it is to use the very force of your fear to turn up the fire and fry everyone in a 50' radius or so just so they don't get you first. Hmm - yes, I can get that. In fact, that's the usual way we grab onto to defend ourselves after being crushed and damaged and traumatized and PTSD'd and whatever else you want to throw into the heap - because how else are we supposed to survive?

Yes, I say "we"; I haven't walked in your shoes, but you haven't walked in mine, either, and I have very deep damage of my own. I was a hothead for a number of years when I was younger because I was fighting a fight to keep myself above water - there was no internet then, no e-mail, so most of my fury was thrown into the ring in what you call meatspace. It was not an easy life and it was a very lonely one. Eventually I got too old and my body caved in and all that, but more than that, I came to a point where I'm generally comfortable with other people and their bizarre ideas, even conservatives and their hellbent desire to bring us all to Armageddon, because every single person on this planet comes from a different background and is on a different path and has different experiences and their own life to live. Mine is only one of them and it's not the same as anyone else's. Once I got this firmly embedded in my psyche, little by little I got away from having to fight all the time. So - I got old and in most cases I'm pretty mellow now, but there are still things that completely set me off - the strongest of which is when I feel someone innocent of provocation is being mistreated by someone who thinks he/she is entitled to beat that person over the head just because it feels right. You're good at beating people over the head - I find it very difficult to just let it happen.

So. So. At least now I have a fair idea of why you're so damn hardass, but I'll still argue with you about the heat levels.

Even with my adorable tiny nose and puffy skirts, I can be fucking FORMIDABLE, and dudes can pretty easily figure out that they're gonna look like goddamn fools if they decide to go after those points.


The gay/trans thing is not new to me. My son was born a girl and was a pretty butch lesbian for many many years. Then he did the one thing that turned every lesbian in town against him - he recognized that what he really is is a male in a female's body (which didn't surprise his mother one bit). He's been transitioning for about three years now, very successfully, and he's content and at home in his body and very happy. I'm not gay nor trans so I don't know the deep stuff, but I know this was the exact right thing for him to do. I only wish that everyone dealing with their sexual or gender identity could find something that could bring them to the same level of just plain calm, confident happiness without fear or anger.

Sorry for all the offense - and I'll undoubtedly cause more - God only knows how badly this post will hit you, but that's not my intention.
posted by aryma at 3:59 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's not about protecting the original author's feelings or making sure no man gets an emotional boo-boo, it's just that it raises the temperature in a conversation in an unnecessary way.

Here's the thing about the idea that comments like the one in question "raise the temperature": when we pretend that the incendiary part was NoraReed's post, we ignore that the linked article itself was shitty, and that its shittiness constitutes in and of itself a "raising of the temperature". I've said it many times here over the years and will say it, I'm sure, many times more: saying something that is nasty and rude and gross does not become civil because you say it in a calm tone of voice. That the article hid under a tone of "wow, this is really neat that I feel like this, amazing" does not erase the shittiness, and blaming a vitriolic response for the presence of vitriol when all it really did was bring it out into the open is pretty crap.

The temperature was already high. NoraReed simply refused to let us pretend otherwise.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:00 AM on January 16, 2015 [61 favorites]


If the post was objectively shitty (and remember, only a madman would judge this as a commentary on the poster), it should have been deleted. The solution is not high temperature blue threads.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:11 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


aryma, I'm not trans, and I'm not really gay either (I identify as queer, generally, with more granular specifics that I use differently depending on who I'm talking about and how up-to-date they are on identity stuff); I'm not sure how that stuff is related to my nose size or skirt choice anyway.

As far as everything else, I shared my personal stuff to explain why I think it's important to allow frustration to show, not in hopes of a condescending and spurious lecture complete with a speculative armchair diagnosis. I'd suggest that if you want to project your issues and experiences on someone you don't actually know that you pursue writing real person fanfiction instead of wild guesses about my motivations, history and damage on MetaTalk.
posted by NoraReed at 4:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [69 favorites]


I only wish that everyone dealing with their sexual or gender identity could find something that could bring them to the same level of just plain calm, confident happiness without fear or anger.

Maybe (I'm just thinking out loud here) if there were a place to talk about one's personal reaction to a navel-gazing piece of tripe essay without being judged on how carefully one managed the possible impact on men's feelings. If only there were something like that, a place to have a discussion? perhaps the name of the site could in some way reference the meta nature of that process?

Also it is seriously gross when you use your child's very real personal struggle for rhetorical purposes.
posted by winna at 4:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [49 favorites]


I only read about a third of the way through this thread, and I probably read about 3/4 of the original thread. So forgive me if I'm making a point someone else made, but I wanted to say:

As a guy who has probably gone through similar, "oh shit I was a real idiot when it comes to women (and probably still am)," I get the defensiveness that some people have when they hear responses like NoraReed's. But having been educated by a lot of folks on this site, I also respect that these opinions are totally legit.

So I actually think in a lot of ways it was an awesome thread. I don't think it was a shitstorm of negativity, because I think people in general were really civil and expressed their opinions well and while I favorited a bunch of comments that were in opposition to NoraReed's, there's no way I can think of that comment as threadshitting in any way. It was just not my opinion, but it's also an opinion I respect and think I should be hearing.

More generally and on a meta level (heh) I feel like we have a lot of different people here with different viewpoints and I think that thread was great because even when we are pretty strenuously disagreeing, for the most part I think we can do it well. So I hope we never stop having these contentious debates were people are working stuff out. And selfishly speaking, I'm always learning stuff so thank you all for that.
posted by dubitable at 4:27 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


A few comments removed: no offsite drama here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 4:45 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Master and Margarita Mix, I explicitly said I agree completely with what NoraReed said. I've even made pretty much the same point in the past. So to claim that I disagree with what's being said is to explicitly ignore my exact words to try and make a greater point.

The impression I'm getting from the most recent replies is that, no matter how often MetaFilter has been said is not going to become a safe space, no matter how often users agree that it isn't one, that doesn't stop them from trying to make it so. A place for them to expel their anger and feel safe to rant and dismiss and get their emotions out, rather than, say, share things they find interesting and have a conversation about them.

Why is here the appropriate space? Why say here what you feel you can't say elsewhere? Because that sort of outpouring of anger and emotion isn't taking part in a conversation, it's venting, and that's simply not what this place is for. Vent on your own blog, try and be part of a conversation here.
posted by gadge emeritus at 4:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


The juxtaposition of those two comments is delicious. 'Post here, not off-site!' and 'Post off-site, not here!'
posted by winna at 4:59 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


winna, talking about MF drama offsite and venting your anger about the latest thing that's angered you on a personal blog are quite different. I am certain you know this.
posted by gadge emeritus at 5:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


And a couple more removed. I am not going to play the apophasis guessing game with you. Do not bring offsite drama here, period. It's one of the clearest, oldest capital-r Rules we have here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 5:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


The impression I'm getting from the most recent replies is that, no matter how often MetaFilter has been said is not going to become a safe space, no matter how often users agree that it isn't one, that doesn't stop them from trying to make it so. A place for them to expel their anger and feel safe to rant and dismiss and get their emotions out, rather than, say, share things they find interesting and have a conversation about them.

I'm pretty sure that isn't what "safe space" means.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [19 favorites]


Sorry for pushing the envelope, goodnews. I do think in the long term it might be a good idea to have a more in depth conversation about some of those issues. Obviously this is not the time or place. Sorry again!
posted by Drinky Die at 5:09 AM on January 16, 2015


winna, talking about MF drama offsite and venting your anger about the latest thing that's angered you on a personal blog are quite different. I am certain you know this.

It sort of seems like a distinction without a difference, though. It did actually strike me as funny that NoraReed's opinions are not supposed to be expressed here, or be expressed in ways acceptable by some yardstick left undefined, but at the same time she's also not supposed to talk about her feelings and opinions off-site, either, for fear of someone taking offense there.
posted by winna at 5:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


Winna: The juxtaposition of those two comments is delicious. 'Post here, not off-site!' and 'Post off-site, not here!'

I'm reading the two comments as saying the same thing: "Post offsite, not here" and "Post offsite and leave it offsite. Don't post it here."
posted by Bugbread at 5:14 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I take back what I said about Matt deleting metafilter. No, it's much too valuable. He should turn it into a reality TV show instead.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:33 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Bullshit call out, but this is a fantastic thread. Running out of favorites.

Very happy the original FPP was posted, it's led to productive, informed discussion and some great comic references.

Women being angry in public. Makes some people so uncomfortable. Thanks, NoraReed.
posted by glasseyes at 5:41 AM on January 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


I don't think there'd be enough oxygen to support the self-righteousness on that island, October
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 5:44 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not always, because I'm not going to put my physical safety on the line and all the rest of that comment sorry don't know how to link it

Oh my god I love you forever.
posted by glasseyes at 5:50 AM on January 16, 2015


armya, if it helps you to gain insight to my style a little bit, I'd ask you to consider two things. First, I am often likely to use humor when I engage with other people on things, which is what you were seeing when you were reading the words "low expectations having mother fucker," which is what I assume you're taking exception to (unless generally it's my discourse here, in which case see the rest of this comment). I think you must have missed that I was making the comedic reference there.

More significantly, I'm, like most people, able to tailor my message to people based on the context and environment. It's not everywhere that I'd use the word "mother fucker," but cursing is baked deeply into the MetaFilter culture. This isn't a word I use in my professional life, for example, when I am confronting people about words they may have used in the workplace that are, say, sexist or homophobic. I'm capable of quite a bit of nuance and tact, and if I'm engaging with someone one on one in a professional environment, I try to choose the approach that has the highest likelihood of success; consequently that often means being gentle and impersonal with my words because I think someone is more likely to hear them if they don't feel mocked or attacked. I think you and many other people feel as if everyone on MetaFilter should aspire to that type of discourse here, and while I can understand that perspective I disagree with it.

In other contexts, I might make a comment very much like the comment I made earlier in the thread where I quoted and paraphrased Chris Rock. If a friend of mine were to have brought up this article to me, I very well might have said, "You know, that reminds me of Chris Rock's bit about taking credit for shit you're supposed to do," and then called my friend a "low expectations having mother fucker" in a joking way that clearly followed from the Chris Rock bit, and it would have been a fine, effective, and non offensive way to make the point.

armya, you seem very uncomfortable on MetaFilter, and I think that is too bad, but I also think some of it is attributable to a mismatch between the way you think the site ought to be and the way the site actually is, and this is really on you to manage and deal with, not on everybody else.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:53 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


cool maybe once he's there I'll give a shit about what he has to say. until then, I'm allowed to be fucking sick of reading "man has daughter and decides the shit he learned from that experience has made him enlightened" thinkpieces getting space and attention that maybe could go toward the words of people who know what the fuck they're talking about (read: women).

This is a bizarre comment that has me worrying about your sanity.

You could avoid the article.
You could avoid commenting on the article
You can create a post about what you do like
And Metafilter isn't some limited where one post gets space and attention and denies it to ours.
Plus the site isn't exactly lacking in voices from women.

Yeah, yeah you're angry and frustrated. That doesn't excuse assholish behavior.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


This is a bizarre comment that has me worrying about your sanity.

Comically not cool.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [56 favorites]


(I mean, contextually appropriate, because this thread was pretty clearly conceived as a way to exploit the higher deletion bar of MetaTalk to say crappy things about NoraReed, but nonetheless...)
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:17 AM on January 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


Comically not cool.


If y'all are ok with users being assholes and name calling, I don't see what the problem is.

That comment of hers about comic book post denying space for women to speak isn't well thought out at all and is exhibiting a narrow grasp on reality and it's worth point that out.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:21 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


but the fact that you are firing off your rage into crowds of strangers is commendable in that it shows the serious kind of commitment that rings true as opposed to generalized internet noise. Would still like to hear from Nora Reed and nadawi, rtha, Miko, jaguar, Master and Margarita Mix, omiewise, Etrigan, moon orb, sgt serenity, etc. - whoever would like to set my thinking straight - hah.

I don't owe you anything, nor does anyone else on your Naughty List. I have tried interacting with you in the past and found it unprofitable, so I have no desire to lay bare my personal life for your armchair analysis, and I find the request that I and others do so to be extremely out of bounds and your response to NoraReed mindboggingly offensive.
posted by jaguar at 6:22 AM on January 16, 2015 [32 favorites]


jaguar: " I find the request that I and others do so to be extremely out of bounds"

Out of bounds? "Extremely out of bounds", at that? Laughable, sure. Annoying, sure. Aggravating, sure. But "extremely out of bounds"? Like mathowie should give Aryma a time-out or something for saying "Would still like to hear from (various people) - whoever would like to set my thinking straight - hah"?
posted by Bugbread at 6:27 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


pretty clearly conceived as a way to exploit the higher deletion bar of MetaTalk

We're not generally inclined to provide a venue for that sort of thing here, assuming we're aware of it and that we're equally convinced that that is in fact what's going on. If this is your honest and sincere take on this post I'd suggest you let us know about it next time. Failing that, please at least be open to interpretations other than what is pretty clearly the least charitable one possible.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:31 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


No, the demand that she will not respect what we say on MetaFilter unless we can prove we say the same things in real-life and then follow-up demands for explanations of our real-life actions. It's completely against the way the site should work.

And her reply to NoraReed should have been deleted and she should have been given a time-out for it, yes. Slapping psychiatric diagnoses, especially those that imply the user has been sexually assaulted, on a fellow user and making up some misogynist bullshit about how lonely and isolated they are in real life, however laughable the actual picture painted is, is vile toxic bullshit that should not be tolerated.
posted by jaguar at 6:32 AM on January 16, 2015 [64 favorites]


yeah, i'm with jaguar - i'm not eager to prove myself to you aryma, especially not with how you've responded to others (and feel free to miss me with your bs in the future). i will say that i think you're completely off base about my vitriol levels and reading my first comments in this thread and the thread on the blue - yes those are things i'd say in pretty much all my social circles, both online and off.
posted by nadawi at 6:34 AM on January 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


I love the "as a woman" phrase from this crowd

Ctrl-F: you seem to be the only one who has used it.

Would still like to hear from Nora Reed and nadawi, rtha, Miko..

First of all, I don't think I owe anyone any bona fides. But since the question appears to be sincere, then my answer is yes, of course. I suppose there's some comforting hypothesis underlying the query that assumes folks like me and those on the list are just outspoken on the internet, using it as a steam vent or posturing platform, but are meek and go-along to get-along in daily life. I can tell you my life would have been a lot easier if I were able to stuff down my social critiques and justice concerns, but I am not. What you see is what you get; I'm pretty much the same offline as online. I'm a speaker-upper and a doer. I was shaped by servicepeople and Quakers and journalists and sleeves-up activists, and it has been both my curse and my blessing, from a very young age, to have whatever bizarre personality quirk that makes one willing to be the outlier in a group and call out oppressive behavior if I was able to perceive it. I've got a long list of workplace and volunteer situations where unfairness was going down and policy or presentation needed to be adjusted. I mentioned running a training on social justice and privilege for our volunteers, and have had to sit through a lot of whining because of that. So I'd say yes, it's no coincidence that I'm outspoken online and somewhat unsparing about waffly positions like "I consider myself an ally but..." I hope this satisfies your query and helps demonstrate that it is, in fact, possible to live with the committment that you believe this stuff.

Expecting to get a real answer to a question like "Why don't you enjoy this explicitly gendered hobby?" is pretty optimistic in the grand scheme of people talking about gender.

Again, maybe my house is an outlier but my husband and I have these conversations all the time. I can explicitly recall deciding comics were not for me - my brother was a big fan, but every time I accompanied him to the comics store I clearly got the message this stuff is not for you, from both the art and the side-eye I got from the exclusively male patrons. That was the 80s, so even worse than what the atmosphere is now because there were very few comics that intentionally included girls and women in their audience. And it's a shame, because I liked comics - not only am I a voracious reader, but I used to avidly consume grocery-store comics, which were the more little-kid, less-sexualized ones like Archie, Sad Sack & the Sarge, Richie Rich, Unca Scrooge and the other Disney ones, etc. The comics problem has been real enough to me for a long enough time that I talked about it in this long-ago thread (and caught shit for it, even though I was being very polite, describing my own experience, and making a salient point - still, someone had a hissy fit and left the thread because he felt I did not sufficiently stifle my opinion in the general vicinity of his expertise). It's no accident that comics and women have a ...complicated relationship.

I mean, I see your point, Sara C. - there's not necessarily a gendered answer as to why I am not into, like, ship modeling or extreme barbecuing or knitting or rock-climbing or whatever. But certainly for some people and in some pursuits, the gendered messages they got from a highly gendered body of participants either encouraged or deterred them, in a conscious way, from getting more involved. Some of them I've pushed through and adopted over my teens and 20s: historic-rig sailing, playing music (instrument stores used to be super male zones) - others I have not - skateboarding, gaming and comics among them. It's been great to see various forms of geekery opening up more in recent decades, but i can certainly say that in my process of growing up and exploring the world's options, there were some I stepped away from because there was simply no welcoming entry point for girls/women, and in some cases there was visible and active exclusion.
posted by Miko at 6:37 AM on January 16, 2015 [26 favorites]


Oh wow, I'm on a List!

But I haven't had any coffee yet. And even when I have, I feel no obligation to prove my cred to someone who's already written such disrespectful shit.
posted by rtha at 6:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [24 favorites]


Its really uncool to question other peoples sanity, Brandon. Over those comments, too? You just seem like you're gaslighting now to be a jerk.
posted by agregoli at 6:41 AM on January 16, 2015 [24 favorites]


going waaaaaay back upthread - i just want to say that my comment which included, "women in my life who i respect, like for instance the one i married and had a child with, aren't able to participate as breezily in something i find great joy in", wasn't about badgering your wife to like comics - but more about how men who have these epiphanies through their daughters trouble me generally, not just on the topic of comics, because as i've mentioned, i'm frustrated by men who only find empathy for women through the eyes of their daughters. they've gone their whole lives mucking around on a planet that is around 50% female - they've even gone so far to connect with a woman enough to procreate with her - and yet they're still so totally blind to the world that women inhabit. that rankles.

If this is your honest and sincere take on this post I'd suggest you let us know about it next time - goodnewsfortheinsane

i totally understand this is a hard thread, but i will say that all the way up near the top i said i felt like this was a grudge match aimed at NoraReed and that's something that's been repeated by others throughout the thread. am i hearing that you'd rather we send y'all a message on the contact form next time? because, yeah, the way that NoraReed was singled out for much of this thread, and the personal attacks on her, has been pretty gross and i don't think that's the least charitable read of this thread.
posted by nadawi at 6:47 AM on January 16, 2015 [30 favorites]


To my mind that's a substantially different read from claiming that this was evidently posted with that intent. At the very least that would seem to imply that a mod either knowingly condoned that or that they were oblivious to that intent. Regardless of how it turned out, neither seem to have applied here at the outset in a way that comes close to what rosf appears to imply.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:52 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Its really uncool to question other peoples sanity, Brandon.

Of course it isn't. You may feel differently about that, so you do what you're going to do and I'll do the same.

Over those comments, too? You just seem like you're gaslighting now to be a jerk.

I'm not concerned with your thoughts about my comments or your interpretation of them. If you're fine with members questioning others state of mind, you should have zero problem with mine, even if you disagree with what I'm seeing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wow, I'm on the list? Okay, I guess I can explain, but I genuinely don't know what it is I'm being called out for. Feel free to MeMail me or whatever.
posted by Etrigan at 6:58 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


i felt like this was a grudge match aimed at NoraReed
I was writing up a MeTa about this general subject, but Misha got there first.

My post was more about the general treatmetn of the subject of posts and used NoraReed's comment from this MeTa and the comments from the "A mother estranged from her adult sons searches for answers in American culture" as examples. Because the ease at which members will tear into a person in a post to be troubling at times, so I was asking the community (and for specific mod actions) to think and pause a bit before berating said person(s) that might be in post.

So I don't think this was a grudge match aimed the person you claim, but rather a discomfort with hyperbolic slagging of people.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:02 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I know you're not concerned about any of it, Brandon. You've made that perfectly clear in many feminism discussions. Does make me wonder why you want to say anything at all, though, since you have so little respect for what anyone says. But people are mysterious...
posted by agregoli at 7:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


i guess i wasn't clear in my original comment then - i think misha doesn't like NoraReed and singled her out in this thread because of that, and yeah, brought it here because she knew personal attacks would be deleted on the blue.
posted by nadawi at 7:06 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


ATTENTION, you are on THE DRINKY DIE LIST:

clavdivs
St. Alia of the Bunnies
Blazecock Pileon
bunnycup

You know what you did.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Does make me wonder why you want to say anything at all, though, since you have so little respect for what anyone says

No, I specifically said I don't care what you think of my comments. You and I tend to disagree a lot, with you painting me in the worst possible light, so there's really not a lot we can say to each other at this point and time. We can just wish each other well and ignore one another until that dynamic changes.

The general subject of feminism is interesting and I've learned a lot from the site, even thought its been maddeningly challenging at times, but in a good way.

Take care.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Because the ease at which members will tear into a person in a post to be troubling at times,

Wait, do you mean: the mefite who made the post; the person who wrote the thing that is linked to in the post (but who is not actually on metafilter and commenting in the thread); someone else. Because especially in that parental estrangement fpp, what I saw were a horrifying number of mefites talk about how the author of the linked piece reminded them exactly of their parent and [awful story that should happen to no one], and not so much tearing into the author of the linked piece, and definitely not criticizing her for bad or no reasons.
posted by rtha at 7:11 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm never on anyone's list. :(
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:12 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


> Its really uncool to question other peoples sanity, Brandon.

Of course it isn't.


It actually kind of is and it would be great for folks, you included, to avoid that in the future.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 AM on January 16, 2015 [43 favorites]


My list of people to party with on the various planes of reality:
Ghengis Khan
Sara Bernhard
Mark Twain
Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


would it be so hard to just give the guy a fucking cookie and be done with it?

Speaking as a lifelong feminist and an ally, the reason that giving out cookies is hard is that this is still a two-person transaction. He does something good and then he gets a cookie. This is a transaction for kids or abject beginners. As you see in any wildlife documentary about training animals to be self-sufficient, or any educational documentary about training humans to be self-sufficient, the reason you don't keep giving these creatures cookies is so they learn to be self-sufficient.

To me a Dad who just learned through epiphany that comics are a treacherous bed of sexism and objectification is not the fabled unicorn we all want, but someone who, probably by dint of a combination of privilege, not having enough time, and assuming the best of intentions simply missed the bus and is now very VERY VERY late.

I'm not personally inclined to reward someone for being very late, turning in an assignment, and expecting a cookie. My response would likely be a C or C+ and an admonition in red pen: DO BETTER.
posted by kalessin at 7:14 AM on January 16, 2015 [24 favorites]


Thank you cortex. It took me too long to find the contact form. I think someone asked in another thread whether a link to it could be put next to the flag button, and I didn't hear back whether that would be possible or not, but I would find it really helpful.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 7:16 AM on January 16, 2015


Again, duh. I get that you don't give a shit about my feeelings, you've made THAT clear many times. No need to tell me. I dont paint you any which way - You represent yourself. I say how you appear, to me, and it appears rude to question a womans sanity because she expressed anger. This is old ground here in these threads. Pointing out the gaslighting under false concern, is all. Edited to add: didn't see cortex's comment before i posted this.
posted by agregoli at 7:17 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think someone asked in another thread whether a link to it could be put next to the flag button, and I didn't hear back whether that would be possible or not, but I would find it really helpful.

Tweaking flagging and contact form flow stuff is on our pile of stuff to do; no ETA on any of that but it is, yeah, something we've been actively thinking about and will experiment with at some point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:17 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wait, do you mean: the mefite who made the post; the person who wrote the thing that is linked to in the post (but who is not actually on metafilter and commenting in the thread);

The latter.

It actually kind of is and it would be great for folks, you included, to avoid that in the future.

Then people shouldn't be writing such off the wall, factually incorrect shit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:17 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


These people are allowed by the moderators to spew any amount of flame and acid at anyone who doesn't carry their own sword in the group's battle line, effectively slamming to the ground anyone with a conflicting opinion, no matter how civil the presentation. Then the rest of the gang comes in with cheers and tears and then, one at a time, they do what they can to diminish the opposing voice, to cut it to pieces, to ridicule it and the person behind it - and others do the same thing, bang-bang-bang, each with a different name, each with the same hammer.
There is no such thing as civilized discourse when these folks are cruising for something to destroy - and don't, by any means, think their purpose is anything BUT destruction


aryma what you described is the Danger Room
posted by Greg Nog at 7:18 AM on January 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm never on anyone's list. :(

Oh, you have a special place at the center of the dart board. Trash talking the Dukes? Not on MY Metafilter.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:19 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing about the idea that comments like the one in question "raise the temperature": when we pretend that the incendiary part was NoraReed's post, we ignore that the linked article itself was shitty, and that its shittiness constitutes in and of itself a "raising of the temperature". I've said it many times here over the years and will say it, I'm sure, many times more: saying something that is nasty and rude and gross does not become civil because you say it in a calm tone of voice. That the article hid under a tone of "wow, this is really neat that I feel like this, amazing" does not erase the shittiness, and blaming a vitriolic response for the presence of vitriol when all it really did was bring it out into the open is pretty crap.

This, a million times over.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:20 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think someone asked in another thread whether a link to it could be put next to the flag button, and I didn't hear back whether that would be possible or not, but I would find it really helpful.

Not sure if everyone knows this, but: the contact form is linked at the bottom right corner of every page. When you use it, it automatically includes a link to the page you're coming from -- so if you use the link on the thread page you're writing about, that thread will be linked in the email we get.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:20 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Then people shouldn't be writing such off the wall, factually incorrect shit.

Balls to that. You can summon up the personal strength to confine concerns about someone's mental state to the contact form or the inside of your head no matter how off-the-wall you think their comments are. "This person is too crazy for me not to call them crazy" is crappy self-justifying tautology and I'm telling you as a mod that it's not cool. If that's a problem for you, make the effort to get over it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:22 AM on January 16, 2015 [63 favorites]


> Then people shouldn't be writing such off the wall, factually incorrect shit.

No law requires you to note it, comment on it, or publicly call the person's sanity into question. You also have the option to "avoid the article. You could avoid commenting on the article."
posted by rtha at 7:22 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I mean, you were going to make a meTa to talk about how we could be less ready to tear into people who aren't even on the site, and at the same time you make a crack about how someone is crazy and they're right here in the room?
posted by rtha at 7:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [31 favorites]


I'm never on anyone's list. :(

I'VE GOT A LITTLE LIST!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


A number of people have accused me of making a personal attack because I objected to inflammatory wording in a comment by NoraReed.

While I have kept my discussion to this site, on the comment and the topic, and while I am saddened that mocking and sarcasm against me, and against anyone not so "enlightened" as a few belligerent voices is seen as acceptable here, I am not surprised that this is their response.

Predictably, for a group that considers any tactic defensible so long as they are the ones doing it, I am now being attacked personally on social media sites by NoraReed and her friends as a result of this thread.

My friends on Metafilter have told me that I am being targeted in this way, and that any attempt to mention this harassment here--harassment that is a direct result of me posting this thread--is being deleted from this thread as referring to "offsite drama".

Matt, I have tried to be as non-specific as possible about the harassment. Please allow this comment at least to stand.
posted by misha at 7:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


(BB, I agree with everything else you said in that comment as I communicated earlier but the sanity checking is not the hill to die on. Could have been phrased differently.)
posted by Drinky Die at 7:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was only kidding about the cookie.
posted by spitbull at 7:26 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


I won't comment on whether or not the mods saw it coming, but misha has certainly made it clear that she made this MeTa as an attack in the time since she posted it. She's had several chances to have the exact conversation in the original thread she claimed to be interested in, one which was actually happening, and every time she chose to engage in the exact same behavior she repeatedly condemned. At this point, I don't think her participation here is at all in good faith. In fact, she has become exactly the kind of commentor that she despises: inflammatory, divisive, depends on snarking and mocking others, quick to make personal attacks and name-calling, likely to cause outragefilter where there is none, positioning her view as Right and Good and others as Nasty and Bad, prone to lecture others on misinformation and mischaracterization while engaging in it herself, and runs to the mods to try and get them to do things contrary to site rules and culture.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:26 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


And, apparently obsessively stalking people offsite.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:29 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Once again, an ill-conceived call-out has resulted in an ugly thread. The whole premise of this MetaTalk is just wrong. Someone will post a link to an article they think is interesting or nifty on the blue, and others will respond. Often those responses will include criticism of the tone or substance of the article. We don't all just line up and offer praise. That's what happened here and it didn't ruin the original thread. I'm always personally put off by open expressions of anger (thanks, Midwestern parents!), but NoraReed wasn't being nasty to another user. She was offering an angry critique of the article, and that's just fine.
posted by Area Man at 7:29 AM on January 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


This person is too crazy for me not to call them crazy" is crappy self-justifying tautology and I'm telling you as a mod that it's not cool. If that's a problem for you, make the effort to get over it.

So to be clear, as a mod, it's fine to point out the ridiculousness of person's words, but calling or implying that they're crazy is so not cool, correct?

I mean, you were going to make a meTa to talk about how we could be less ready to tear into people who aren't even on the site, and at the same time you make a crack about how someone is crazy and they're right here in the room

The general consensus from this thread seems to be that it's perfectly to do it when someone deserves it or the person just feels like it, so I'm just going with the flow for the moment.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:30 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


And, apparently obsessively stalking people offsite.

No, she has friends here like she said, who have seen stuff that has correctly been deleted from the thread. It may be a necessary site policy to put up a firewall with offsite stuff but it's not unreasonable for someone to be hurt if they hear about what is going on.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


And, apparently obsessively stalking people offsite.

Where do you get that? It sounds like others were stalking her offsite.
posted by alms at 7:33 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


I am now being attacked personally on social media sites by NoraReed and her friends as a result of this thread.
My friends on Metafilter have told me that I am being targeted in this way


That is not "targeting"; it is very much of a piece with the normal human desire to discuss social goings-on, like last night when my SO came home from work and I was all "HOO BOY, HOW BOUT THAT META"
posted by Greg Nog at 7:34 AM on January 16, 2015 [41 favorites]


If this is your honest and sincere take on this post I'd suggest you let us know about it next time.

I did - here. misha couldn't do this on the blue, because it would be rightly deleted as fighty threadrot. There is absolutely no case to answer, as is clear from the start. NoraReed's comment would not be moderated in any current model of how MetaFilter functions, and there is equally clearly no desire to change MetaFilter moderation to do so. It's MetaTalk as Thunderdome.

I don't think there's anything particularly broken about that, functionally speaking - MetaTalk is partly an overflow valve for forms of interaction that would degrade the experience of MetaFilter, and put it in a place where people who like this sort of thing can indulge in it. But let us be realistic, here.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:35 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


So to be clear, as a mod, it's fine to point out the ridiculousness of person's words, but calling or implying that they're crazy is so not cool, correct?

Is this really so hard a concept to grasp?
posted by asterix at 7:35 AM on January 16, 2015 [23 favorites]


So to be clear, as a mod, it's fine to point out the ridiculousness of person's words, but calling or implying that they're crazy is so not cool, correct?

"blah blah blah has me worrying about your sanity" and stuff like that sucks and should be avoided, is what I'm saying. Doing it and being called on it and then doubling down and being told be a mod to cut it out and tripling down is extra crappy.

My friends on Metafilter have told me that I am being targeted in this way, and that any attempt to mention this harassment here--harassment that is a direct result of me posting this thread--is being deleted from this thread as referring to "offsite drama".

You can talk to us on the contact form about it and are totally welcome to do so. Responding to a mod saying "don't do this here" by pointedly doing it here anyway but really vaguely is not great.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Is this really so hard a concept to grasp?

I apologize profusely for not understanding something as quickly as you and promise I'll strive to not give a damn what you think in the future.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:38 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear on the distinction here: are we talking about a group of people offsite who are sitting around giggling about this MeTa, but otherwise not in any way engaging with the person who posted it? If so, that's a really broad take on what "stalking" is and kinda insulting to people who have actually been stalked.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


Where do you get that? It sounds like others were stalking her offsite.

Unless something has changed, no one is MeMailing or e-mailing her, no one is posting things in her social media spaces, and no one is digging up information on her. People are complaining about how ridiculous they think she is being, in places that she and her friends have to specifically seek out in order to read. So, yes, that indicates that they're the ones doing the stalking.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


> like last night when my SO came home from work and I was all "HOO BOY, HOW BOUT THAT META"

We'd just gotten on a plane for a cross-country flight when this went up yesterday. gingerbeer bought wifi for the flight but I skipped it in favor of reading and watching the all-day TNT Bones/Castle fest. But every so often I'd pull out an earbud and be all "so what's going on in the meTa, what is the happening with it?" and then we would make some snarky comments to each other and so on.
posted by rtha at 7:40 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


And again, yes, let's let this drop. Bringing concerns about off-band harassment to the mods on the contact form is the thing to do, and we can talk about it there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:41 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry, cortex.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 7:42 AM on January 16, 2015


I'm not personally inclined to reward someone for being very late, turning in an assignment, and expecting a cookie. My response would likely be a C or C+ and an admonition in red pen: DO BETTER.

Harsh. People learn at different speeds. Some respond well to being told to sharpen the fuck up, some don't. Nevertheless, no-one has a time machine and the path is important and not to be sniffed at. It's not necessary to be too judgemental about what someone should already know by now. By all means, think what you want, but if all you've got to say is, 'hurry up, fuckwit!' then that's not really adding all that much to the discourse.

Moving away from that and to this thread in general, I love my loud friends who say what they think and cop the fallout where it lands (sometimes they annoy me when I think they're wrong but hey-yo). There is inevitably fall out - that's unavoidable and indeed inevitable if you want to be part of a discussion about important things, like how women in exist in the world for instance. If I'm feeling up to it, I'll debate some crap with someone who's being completely ignorant and offensive but alas I'm a shocking coward mostly. Everyone's trigger for the whole ignorant and offensive thing is different though, and whilst I'm sometimes taken aback by other people's willingness to defend their point of view in the strongest of terms I would never dream of telling them to shut up because their method of expression was different to mine.

You don't have to like how someone is saying something but you damned well don't get to set the terms for their participation in the discussion.

I'm not a fan at all of tough love nastiness in Askme, particularly when someone has asked for people to be gentle, but the blue is not the green and the grey is not the blue. Say your piece if you have to but calling for someone to completely change their reaction to things by not expressing themselves authentically towards something that you don't think deserves a harsh response, and then calling for mod intervention to stop this opinion from being expressed in that way, is bullshit really.
posted by h00py at 7:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Harsh. People learn at different speeds. Some respond well to being told to sharpen the fuck up, some don't. Nevertheless, no-one has a time machine and the path is important and not to be sniffed at. It's not necessary to be too judgemental about what someone should already know by now. By all means, think what you want, but if all you've got to say is, 'hurry up, fuckwit!' then that's not really adding all that much to the discourse.

This is not AskMe. This is a post on the Blue that we're talking about.

But thanks. I know I'm not well-suited to 101 level education/activism. That's why I don't do it. I'm not here to teach kindergarten.
posted by kalessin at 7:52 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm here to make lists and eat cookies. And I'm all out of cookies.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [19 favorites]


I guess I just always wanted that gold star on my forehead.
posted by h00py at 7:57 AM on January 16, 2015


While I get that, over in 401 land, we often discuss how demanding/expecting every speaker to teach or be ready to teach at a 101-level is a particular kind of privilege (called "tokenizing"). If you want to move beyond 101-level learning, I'd recommend looking at that and becoming more self-sufficient.
posted by kalessin at 7:59 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


This is the most direct, personal, and disgusting attack against a member I have seen anywhere on Metafilter. I feel like the only reason it stands is because it doesn't actually say "fuck you, NoraReed, you pathetic, damaged little bitch" in so many words, even though it says more and worse at length.
posted by gilrain at 8:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [53 favorites]


goodnewsfortheinsane: If this is your honest and sincere take on this post I'd suggest you let us know about it next time.

The last time I used the contact form to make a direct warning, I was brushed off. Would you say that thread I warned about went well?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:02 AM on January 16, 2015


So who was asking for a lesson? I think shitting on late bloomers is unnecessary, I wasn't asking you to change the curriculum.
posted by h00py at 8:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Can you articulate what you were asking for, then? Because that's how I read it.
posted by kalessin at 8:05 AM on January 16, 2015


"I think shitting on late bloomers is unnecessary". Not a request, a comment. You don't. The world continues to revolve.
posted by h00py at 8:07 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bloody hell. Did I miss the memo that people should come to this post and make real efforts to be horrid and nasty? At this point, the perspectives and opinions strike me as a lot less notable than the rancid attitudes.

Moderators: Over the years I've been anywhere from a bit irked to a lot irked with all y'all, but if I could I'd damn sure serve you up some free Blue Bell ice cream.

And it's after midnight here so I'll have another beer and see if I can find something to read that's not so bleak.
posted by ambient2 at 8:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


And that was just the first paragraph. The rest of my comment was about people being allowed to give their opinion, whether harsh or not. So we're not actually on opposite sides here.
posted by h00py at 8:09 AM on January 16, 2015


With all due respect, aryma, between this an the antisemitism thread, it might be advisable for you to try and suss out the community norms a little more before engaging in these sorts of threads, even though you seem to have been a member for a number of years. There used to be a word for it.
posted by maxsparber at 8:09 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


With all due respect, aryma, between this an the antisemitism thread, it might be advisable for you to try and suss out the community norms a little more before engaging in these sorts of threads, even though you seem to have been a member for a number of years. There used to be a word for it.

Well, lurking moar to be sure would be in order. But at the very least, to stop popping into threads with a vague, general idea of the topic but not actually reading the conversation before posting. This tends to read like "I just came by to lecture you all on how to post better/what horrible PC bullies you're all being" and trips up the whole dialogue back several steps. I think a lot of that could be avoided just by reading the thread in question before offering an opinion on the conversation.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:15 AM on January 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


Bloody hell. Did I miss the memo that people should come to this post and make real efforts to be horrid and nasty? At this point, the perspectives and opinions strike me as a lot less notable than the rancid attitudes.

Which is how some people felt about Nora Reed's comment in the comics post. Your mileage may vary.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


The last time I used the contact form to make a direct warning, I was brushed off. Would you say that thread I warned about went well?

If you want mod attention on a comment or post, flagging will get that within a minute in my experience. If you want to communicate something else to the mods, the contact form is an instant warp speed conduit that will have your concerns evaluated within minutes. It's a truly remarkable level of customer service for a site with a user-base this big. Honestly, I've definitely abused it at times and I'm sorry for that.

If you want to debate with the mods, that's the time I think to bring it over to the grey. The public nature of it may lead to you being relentlessly mocked, or it may lead to a really worthwhile community conversation. We have seen a few of both recently. It's easier for the mods to accept something might be off kilter if they have multiple voices telling them so. TLDR: Use the grey if you are convinced mods are on a mistaken path and you aren't getting through to them.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:18 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


So we're not actually on opposite sides here.

Except for taking paragraphs to jump all over my shit, I would agree with you. It tends, as I'm sure you'll be happy to tell me again, to put one on the defensive.
posted by kalessin at 8:18 AM on January 16, 2015


Nora Reed wasn't attacking other users = big difference.
posted by agregoli at 8:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


aryma: Sorry for all the offense

No you're not. If you were sorry you'd stop being so offensive.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


The first paragraph was about what you said. The rest was about the thread in general - "Moving away from that and to this thread in general".
posted by h00py at 8:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


The last time I used the contact form to make a direct warning, I was brushed off. Would you say that thread I warned about went well?

the man of twist and turns, I know you were frustrated by how that thread played out and by the fact that we didn't run with your concerns at the time in the way you felt we should have. That's a totally legitimate frustration, and considering the clusterfuck of a thread we ended up with one I can understand feeling really strongly about besides. We weren't happy with how that played out either, and shut down pretty vocally the shit you were concerned about once we caught up.

That said, you've done this "I warned you and you didn't listen" thing about that a few times now about that specific thing, and I don't know how to answer that other than to say, hey, yes, you let us know and we didn't take the action you wanted, but what now? Because you're responding to the idea of people in general contacting us about other things as if it's a total write-off or we don't give a shit, like people shouldn't bother letting us know about stuff because we didn't respond correctly and quickly enough to you that one time. That's really frustrating on our end; it's a baby-and-bathwater thing, like since the system isn't perfect let's burn down the system.

There is zero doubt in my mind that you are coming from a good place of wanting the site to function well and serve the userbase well, but just sort of repeatedly needling us about something that didn't play out the way you thought it should've isn't accomplishing that, it's just setting us on edge about communication from you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


since i brought up the contact form, i'll just say that i didn't bring it up to be snarky. i have always had very good interactions with all the mods through the contact form. we haven't always agreed, but i've always felt listened to and respected by them. a+ would contact form again.
posted by nadawi at 8:36 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


On the subject of NoraReed's comment, I have to say I was also frankly very pleased to see it said. Why her comment is important, I think, can be paralleled with something I've seen working with immigration issues, i.e., some local making a lengthy blog post about having suddenly realized one teeny tiny sliver of the damage a hierarchical, exclusionary and othering system does to immigrants, and presenting said experience as if they had just made a startling discovery that immigrants here haven't been screaming in the desert about for ages now, and then seeing that blog post getting shared by more locals who talk about how courageous and broad-minded this local is for their amazing discovery, while all the numerous articles written by immigrants on this sliver and thousands of other slivers remain completely ignored - both by the original author and pretty much all the locals sharing the local's piece. And then two days later everyone stops talking about it.

It's incredibly frustrating to see that your struggle will only be recognized, let alone validated, if it's deemed discussion-worthy by the majority. It actually reinforces the reality of your exclusion rather than makes you feel supported. That this is becoming a more frequent type of "dude discovers sexism exists" article style is tedious and patronizing.

So kudos x 10100 to NoraReed is what I'm saying.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:37 AM on January 16, 2015 [39 favorites]


[A couple comments removed, let's skip the cryptic drive-bys.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:45 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


What I want to know is why the mods keep letting misha's axe-grindy same-non-argument-again metas through the queue.
posted by Dysk at 8:54 AM on January 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


What I want to know is why the mods keep letting misha's axe-grindy same-non-argument-again metas through the queue.

I would argue that one of the purposes of the queue shouldn't be to censor undesirable MeTas like this one. People should still be allowed to make stupid, ax-grindy, dumbass MeTas, because the consequences of moving to a system where it is expected that MeTas will be closely screened for content before being approved are worse than the consequences of allowing these stupid, been-there-done-that-let-it-go-already MeTas.

(The fact that the MeTas are queued already raises the spectre that they're more moderated on content than they used to be, and that's uncomfortable enough without heightening that expectation by killing stupid MeTas that wouldn't have been of the type that would have been immediately closed in the pre-queue era. In my opinion).
posted by MoonOrb at 9:00 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


What I want to know is why the mods keep letting misha's axe-grindy same-non-argument-again metas through the queue.

People's complaints don't have to be well-formed or correct to be allowed in Metatalk, basically. I think that makes for some not-so-great threads and often means that pretty much the opposite of what the poster had in mind is what actually happens, but being repetitive or axe-grindy in a metatalk post isn't something that by itself we generally deleted in the pre-queue days and that hasn't significantly changed.

If someone wants to say "I think x is a problem and y should be done" and the community wants to largely disagree, so it goes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:00 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Is there not a limit, effectively? If misha wanted to have this fight every day, would we?
posted by Dysk at 9:02 AM on January 16, 2015


What I want to know is why the mods keep letting misha's axe-grindy same-non-argument-again metas through the queue.

Honestly, I'm glad it was let through. The queue (in my understanding) is more "Do we have the bandwidth to deal with this now or later?", and not "Are we going to have this conversation?".

Also, I heartily agree with allowing people to be hoist on their own petard, which is clearly what happened here.
posted by dotgirl at 9:03 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


so it goes.

But you guys do moderate against repeat axe-grindiness. Sometimes you delete, sometimes you give strong feedback. I have personally been affected by this mod dynamic. And I don't think it's wrong. So why keep letting misha off the hook for doing this over again?
posted by kalessin at 9:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


> So why keep letting misha off the hook for doing this over again?

If you look at her MetaTalk posting history, she actually hasn't done it that often.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [14 favorites]


I don't want to pile on Misha, but I have to say her viewpoints perplex me. I think they come from a good place -- from really wanting feminism to be inclusive and really wanting men to be able to participate in feminism without getting shot down by vituperative women with hair-trigger tempers, or whatever.

But I guess I can only offer my experience as a man who is a feminist and participates in feminist discussions: I don't really need to be mollycoddled. Generally, I do fine, because I try to listen to what women have to say, and, if I disagree, I try to ask questions that get to the root of where I disagree, and often the answer is that I have misunderstood or don't share an experience or am wrong. And if I still disagree, I say so respectfully, and sometimes we just disagree, which is fine, because God knows feminists don't always agree with each other, and sometimes I get heat for it, which is also fine.

I can take it. Sometimes I blunder, and, when I do, I try to recognize it and apologize and self-educate. Sometimes I'm the target of mockery, and I don't really mind it, because, honestly, it's sometimes so god damn funny how can I be offended? I love seeing somebody go off on a righteous tear, even when it is directed at me. I know I deserve it sometimes, and I also know that sometimes I get it when I don't deserve it, and, guess what?

That also happens in every other single place in the world where I participate. Men are perfectly capable of holding their own in discussions -- more than capable, they tend to dominate discussions. Men are perfectly capable of hearing criticism, even very harsh criticism, and dealing with it, because we're adults and we do it all the time. And feminism is not so fragile that we can't apply those same skills here, and, indeed, I think we should be expected to.

If you're serious about creating a just world, one in which women have an equal share as men, you learn to deal with feminism the way you deal with everything else in the world, as an adult. And if, as a man, you hold feminism to a special standard, a higher standard, where you must be agreed with and rewarded and never criticized or at least not harshly, you aren't a feminist. You're a sexist. Because you're expecting women to behave different than anything else in your world, and better, and for your sake.

I don't have those expectations. I know many men do. They do because they are sexist in this specific way. And the way to disabuse somebody of sexism is not to pamper it, but to refuse to engage it. If men want to participate in feminism, they must be ready to engage it in the same way they engage in everything else. And they should be able to.
posted by maxsparber at 9:09 AM on January 16, 2015 [70 favorites]


Is there not a limit, effectively? If misha wanted to have this fight every day, would we?

There's a limit, effectively; most people don't get there, and as with a lot of things on Metafilter there's usually plenty of room to get on people's nerves or establish a one-note or Being That Guy reputation in some capacity before ever actually closing in on that limit.

I agree with the sentiment that endlessly pushing the same button is unworkable and that someone's pattern of behavior can hit a limit where we need to just shut it down for them when they don't shut it down themselves. I don't feel like I can tender a predictive "this far, no further" line in the sand about any specific user's notional future behavior in that sense.

If the question is "why was this specific metatalk let through", the answer is "because we looked at it and thought it wasn't great but wasn't the sort of thing we were going to refuse to let through". I can totally understand disagreeing with that decision, but it's the decision we made.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


So why keep letting misha off the hook for doing this over again?

Here's her MetaTalk posting history, 20 posts over 7 years. About a quarter of them are actually complaining about something, on the part of the site specifically designed to do this, so..whatcha talking about? Or is this simply 'a woman is complaining a lot'?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:17 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher, the things you've said in this thread lately have been really shitty. Could you, like, take a nap or have a Diet Coke or something, and take a break from what really looks like you taking every opportunity to needle people in a totally dickish way here?
posted by MoonOrb at 9:21 AM on January 16, 2015 [22 favorites]


so..whatcha talking about?

This one and the one from September 2014, as well as misha's overall commenting pattern and themes.

Or is this simply 'a woman is complaining a lot'?

I'm self-identified as a feminist and ally. So this is kind of a highly objectionable characterization of what I'm saying, as you can imagine. Please don't.
posted by kalessin at 9:23 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


My MetaTalk history.

20 total posts, in nearly 8 years here.

Maybe, uncharitably, 5 of them deal with anything related to this one in any way, in that they argue for civility and against intolerance, and that's counting one where I asked people not to shame polyamorists for their kink, so...
posted by misha at 9:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


h00py: Harsh. People learn at different speeds. Some respond well to being told to sharpen the fuck up, some don't. Nevertheless, no-one has a time machine and the path is important and not to be sniffed at. It's not necessary to be too judgemental about what someone should already know by now. By all means, think what you want, but if all you've got to say is, 'hurry up, fuckwit!' then that's not really adding all that much to the discourse.

This kind of comment keeps coming up, not just in this particular MeTa but in general. Now, in nebulous privilege discussions, I think this is in general a fair enough statement and also something that contributes to a general atmosphre of support for the tone argument, so while I agree with these sentiments if they're very strictly interpreted, I'm still damn wary of the way they're being used and teased into having much broader connotations. In this specific thread specifically, though, it's a load of horseshit, because the main beef people have with the author of the article in the blue post isn't with his specific place in "the path" per se, no one is saying "this author has not advanced enough - to the outer darkness with him!", the objection is his behavior after the fact, ie, the kind of article he wrote. That's a very important distinction, and it keeps being brought up again and again and dismissed, to the point that I feel like it's a bad faith dismissal of the intentions of the people bringing up the dialetic angle, some kind of weird No True Feminist fallacy.

No one, not even The Infamous NoraReed, has condemned this guy for his baby steps toward enlightened views or dismissed that as somehow irrelevant/not progress/not good enough. The discussion on the blue and the grey has been about his actions after the fact, and the expectation they place on those of us who are already in the trenches of the discourse that from my perspective, a bunch of aging Cult of Nice nincompoops and Fundamentally Disengenuous Nice Guy Nerd Man Babies who mostly aren't the ones having sub-rosa conversations about comics in this MeTa, aren't the ones compiling long lists of female-and-child-friendly comics and stores on the blues, aren't the ones citing the long (long, long, looooooong) history of this women-and-comics debate on the internet suddenly think needs policing from the Mean Girl Professional Outrage And Swear Machine(tm) who mostly are the ones having sub-rosa etc etc, and by all lights appear to be, as a side, far more likely to have already been in that discussion or give a shit about comics at all. But only after they'd been alterted to the existence of that debate

I am almost certainly being uncharitable and I'm not saying every "but what about the meeeeen?" whiner doesn't have a sincere interest in comics and a good faith place in that discussion, and I'm not saying every Internet Outrage Chick Squad member does (since, you know, we're a girl gang from a women in prison movie now), but this is a certainly a dynamic that is noticeable to me.

And, again, normally I'd feel incredibly shitty bringing this up, because I don't think "you need such and such bona fides to be deserving of a place commenting on or participating in geeky interests!" is a healthy thing, but I want to make very clear that while I don't think people need to hold a certain set of opinions about this to be a sincere liker-of-comics and carer-about-women-in-comics, this feels like an outside takeover of a discussion for ideological reasons by someone who has sweet fuckall good faith in actually participating in that discussion.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


For the record, I try not to read or respond to aryma's comments here and want to be 100% clear that it's not because I agree with them or accept them as okay. I am about 60% convinced that she is a troll/lying about herself in order to get more leeway to be hateful.

I wish the mods would do something about her intensely hostile comments, but in the meantime, I'm ignoring them.

NoraReed, I'm terribly sorry about the things people have said about you in this thread. You absolutely don't deserve them.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [44 favorites]


misha gets to continue doing her thing because she's actually very smart about usually jumping in other conversations both on the blue and the grey to steer them towards how feminism isn't male focused enough and how mefi feminists specifically are too mean. she does this with a veneer of politeness and and a heavy dose of "who me." it's frustrating, it's annoying, but i agree that the metafilter we have in front of us in not the kind to mod this issue away.
posted by nadawi at 9:27 AM on January 16, 2015 [36 favorites]


Brandon, your comments here are completely awful. Why calling someone crazy in an attempt to insult and degrade them doesn't earn you a timeout, I'll never understand.

Between those comments and aryma's, this thread contains some of the worst commenting I've ever seen on the site in terms of sheer mendacious cruelty.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:28 AM on January 16, 2015 [31 favorites]


also I want to just say how weird it is to see the name "misha" constantly in this thread, because for obvious reasons I've replaced "The Master and Margarita Mix" with "Masha" in my head, and so half the time I have to think "oh no they're not diminutizing my handle, they mean some dude!", and then no, she's a woman.

Also the best mutant is still Storm and you are still all wrong. Good day.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:30 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher, the things you've said in this thread lately have been really shitty. Could you, like, take a nap or have a Diet Coke or something, and take a break from what really looks like you taking every opportunity to needle people in a totally dickish way here?

Not EVERY opportunity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:30 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm going to ignore all the metacommentary and just add this: My female comics pro friends had very similar reactions to Nora Reed when they ran across the original piece. One called it "a maddening extravaganza of good points interspersed with ‪‎everyday sexism‬", among other things. It's obviously a widespread reaction.
posted by wintersweet at 9:31 AM on January 16, 2015 [23 favorites]


NoraReed, I'm terribly sorry about the things people have said about you in this thread. You absolutely don't deserve them.

Yeah, I wanna pile on this. I nearly always agree with NoraReed on feminism/gender issues, and when I come across her comments in those kinds of threads she's almost always said what I'm thinking and she's said it more effectively than I would. The response she has gotten in this thread is absolutely fucking bonkers to me!
posted by superfluousm at 9:34 AM on January 16, 2015 [20 favorites]


I cannot help but notice how personally critical of me the comments by the very same people falsely accusing me of making a personally critical callout have become.

I criticized the inflammatory language, in turn I have been accused of being a Problem Person.
posted by misha at 9:35 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, can we stop the derail about which mutant is best?

Because it's Warlock.
posted by maxsparber at 9:35 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


People's complaints don't have to be well-formed or correct to be allowed in Metatalk, basically. I think that makes for some not-so-great threads and often means that pretty much the opposite of what the poster had in mind is what actually happens, but being repetitive or axe-grindy in a metatalk post isn't something that by itself we generally deleted in the pre-queue days and that hasn't significantly changed.

I'm happy to hear this! My biggest worry with the queue was the possibility of mod judgement replacing community-hashing-out, leading to a diminution of the democratic-town-hall vibe that characterizes how I tend to think of mefi. So it's nice to hear that the mods lean toward a more hands-off approach with the queue, even if they think a post is going to be a bad idea.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:36 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


Also, can you imagine the size and length of the resulting shitshow if someone actually was silenced all their life?
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:40 AM on January 16, 2015


misha, from my perspective you're no longer entitled to the presumption that your comments on sexism and feminism are made in good faith, and I suspect many other users here feel the same way about it. I can understand how that might feel uncomfortable or hurtful, but there it is.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [29 favorites]


Also, can you imagine the size and length of the resulting shitshow if someone actually was silenced all their life?

I suspect it would involve the survivors of humanity's destruction living underground, tended to by a master computer, searching ice caves for cans of food that they cannot open.
posted by maxsparber at 9:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


misha - that's misstating the discussion. i'm only speaking for myself - i think you started this thread because you don't like NoraReed and wanted to create a situation for her to be piled on, which is why you singled her out of all the comments that were critical of the piece and/or author. the mods disagree with my reading of it - so it goes (and even if they didn't disagree, posts about specific users have been allowed to stand before - i just found your methods intellectually dishonest). i find that to be very different than, in a thread started by you, discussing how you engage in these types of topics.
posted by nadawi at 9:45 AM on January 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


misha, from my perspective you're no longer entitled to the presumption that your comments on sexism and feminism are made in good faith, and I suspect many other users here feel the same way about it. I can understand how that might feel uncomfortable or hurtful, but there it is.

MoonOrb, I do say this in good faith, but I think the "not made in good faith" accusation comes out a bit too easy these days to dismiss discussions that are uncomfortable and don't assume the majority oppinion. I'm pretty sure misha is being sincere, even if you don't like what she is saying.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is also a distinction between what you ARE and how you BEHAVE, misha. You are not a Problem Person, but just like me and Brandon and Nora and, essentially EVERYONE, you occasionally behave in ways that are problematic.

So what? Big deal. (from Buckaroo Banzai's Adventures Across the Eighth Dimension) But you started a MetaTalk thread to call out Nora and others who agree with her about her behavior. You called it threadshitting. And a lot of people came out to disagree with you. This is fair and okay.

It's also fair and okay for us to say "Hey, that thing you did, the way you behaved, that's shitty." It's not okay for us to say you are personally problematic. I don't feel that way and that's not what I said.
posted by kalessin at 9:50 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


thirding, 4thing, whatever. Between the clearly "You aren't polite enough for me so you should shut up" tone and the fact that you have not bothered to call out anyone else who agreed with Nora's comment or other similar comments from other people in other threads, this is -very- clearly a "Wah, I hate Nora and want her to shut up" callout.

It's specific, it's exclusionary and it's wrong.

(seriously I cannot believe I've managed to check off "tone argument" AND "Lol joking defense" on my bingo sheet in the same freaking thread.)
posted by FritoKAL at 9:50 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


And TBH I think about this like everyone. If a behavior is shitty, I say something and then there's a chance the behavior will change. No one is ever unredeemably shitty forever and always.
posted by kalessin at 9:52 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


misha: I'd already read over your userpage when I responded you the first time, and looking at your MeTa history just confirms what I felt then. Your whole schtick seems to be that when MF fails to be to your liking, it's a failure of the mods or the site members to be "their true selves" or properly purge the unbelievers. Wittingly or unwittingly, the common denominator I'm seeing is that you're setting yourself up as THE arbiter of Metafilteriness and kind of having a meltdown when it's revealed that you're not, and you'll lash out against anyone, mod or otherwise, who challenges that. Again, it's a kind of "No True MeFite" fallacy that you seem to be invoking over and over and over again instead of examining your pre-conceptions. For what it's worth, I get the same vibe even more strongly from aryma.

I mean, look: "In a recent thread about Metafilter memes, I used the phrase "Beanplate Insane" to describe my own sense of frustration with certain over-indulged inside jokes on the site." Inside jokes can be problematic and exclusionary, yeah, but they're also how communities like this build actual community and commonality. I participate in a lot of online communities that aren't MF, and I can say without hestitation that this is one of the least inside-jokey, jargony, insider-speaky among them, although it's also the one with the people who have the biggest complex about being insiders and the strongest "us vs the rest of the internet" vibe, which I actually think is pretty tedious and doesn't serve the site that well anymore.

Warlock was not even the best member of the New Mutants, despite I think not technically being a mutant at all. Was he? They hadn't yet descended into the whole madness with the interstellar X-gene and weird panspermia allusion that it seems every created world and narrative that features humanoid aliens inevitably descends into* at that point, had they? Weren't aliens still just aliens back then?

* Unless the creator is very scrupulous at the outside about Not Going There, which usually means just keeping your aliens strictly non-humanoid in the first place, or going the Everyone Is Actually Secretly Humans From The FuturePast route
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 9:54 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not EVERY opportunity.

I realize you don't give a shit what I think of you, but since you've said that it takes you a while to learn things sometimes, I will say that if you're trying to dial down the temperature in this thread, this is an actively counterproductive response.
posted by asterix at 9:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


The temperature was already high. NoraReed simply refused to let us pretend otherwise.

Pope Guilty's comment pretty much summed it up for me.

I've stopped bothering about aryma's comments because this isn't the first time she's been nasty, condescending, and brought up her kids as a trump card for how people are meeannn to her and how she's speaking Truth to Power even as she's being Silenced.

That said, I am very sorry not to have made her list of Disappointing Women. And, not that you asked ME, yes of course I call out sexism when I see it in the wild. Jeez. Why wouldn't I? (disclaimer: being large, middle aged, and the owner of a cell phone helps me feel physically safer than a lot of people do.)
posted by small_ruminant at 9:59 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


(Warlock's technically a mutant of his species, but he's not an x-gene mutant like humans are)
(Cypher best of that team, imo)
posted by FritoKAL at 9:59 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


(Also, Nightcrawler is best mutant.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:00 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


^ fuck yeah
posted by small_ruminant at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Also, Nightcrawler is best mutant.)

This, x100, with a cherry on top.
posted by dotgirl at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Warlock was not even the best member of the New Mutants

speaking of Warlock, and thus Doug Ramsey / Cypher, plus the mention earlier in the thread of Iceman violating the laws of physics:
Marvel released (maybe in a New Mutants Annual?) a paper Doug wrote about the source of mutant power. I managed to find it on reddit, and copied it onto a Pastebin page for easier access. Because it was written by an in-universe character for an in-universe school project, it is canon that the theory exists, but not canon that theory is necessarily correct.

posted by Greg Nog at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


asterix: I wouldn't waste any more energy trying to engage in honest debate with a person who earlier in this very thread questioned the sanity of a fellow Mefite based on a single strongly-worded opinion.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


yeah maybe deciding to play the "I disagree with you so you're crazy" card is a bad idea, especially given our cultural history of calling uppity women insane and locking them up/drugging them into oblivion, and the fact that I talk about my mental health shit all the time on here. I'd like to invite anyone else who wants to try to use that as a club against me or anyone else to fuck themselves with a cactus
posted by NoraReed at 10:09 AM on January 16, 2015 [65 favorites]


Moonstar is the best New Mutant, Storm is the best mutant, I insist all of you stop being wrong immediately, this will not do. Nightcrawler is definitely the best Mutant Of Uncertain Parentage That Might Involve Another Mutant Who Is Known To Us As A Distinct Character In Their Own Right Seperate From Being That Mutant's Parents, which is actually a pretty freaking huge category when it comes right down to it.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


FWIW, misha, I don't know enough about your interactions with NoraReed one way or the other to even have an opinion about axe-grinding, though I do disagree with the definitions of threadshitting, intolerance and bad faith that you put forward. I hope, at least, that you can take something positive away from this MeTa in the end, and don't feel ganged-up-upon. In fairness, you did level some pretty serious allegations towards a specific user here, so I don't think the pushback should be entirely surprising. I don't always agree with your opinions regarding men and feminism, but I've never thought for a second you were being disingenuous or posting from a bad place.

Also, the best mutants are objectively Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Rafael. This matter was settled by the scientific community ages ago and I can't even believe this is up for debate. Look it up if you don't believe me.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:12 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


yeah maybe deciding to play the "I disagree with you so you're crazy" card is a bad idea, especially given our cultural history of calling uppity women insane and locking them up/drugging them into oblivion, and the fact that I talk about my mental health shit all the time on here. I'd like to invite anyone else who wants to try to use that as a club against me or anyone else to fuck themselves with a cactus

This is reaching the point where I'm going to start favoriting shit.

By the way, I may use that last part in real life for the next week.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:18 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


This thread is pretty crazy, but the question about why users are allowed to repeatedly post similar axe-grindy MeTas (and for the moment not taking a position on this particular MeTa or its poster) brought a further moderation-related question to my mind.

When someone submits a MeTa that the mods suspect will go poorly but which they know they are going to have to accept, do they ever suggest that the submitter re-frame the post in a way that is less likely to start a fight? As in, "We're going to approve this either way, but you really should consider toning down your language here and here if you want to avoid having the community rise up in arms against you. Do you want to do that?"

I'm just curious. I realize that this is a growing and rather unpleasant thread and if you (the mods) feel like ignoring my question right here then go ahead. I won't be offended. I just take an interest in the way that the site is run.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:20 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Occasionally. I've done that in the past (talk to the person about how re-framing might help it to go better), but my impression is it's not a common thing, and I think different mods have different approaches on that. Also, if people are curious, my impression is that almost every submitted MeTa gets posted, and if it isn't, we will get in touch with the person about why.

But helpful tip, if we are replying to you about a submitted MeTa or a contact form, we use email -- so it's good if the email we have on file (in your user page) works and you check it.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:29 AM on January 16, 2015


When someone submits a MeTa that the mods suspect will go poorly but which they know they are going to have to accept, do they ever suggest that the submitter re-frame the post in a way that is less likely to start a fight?

Sometimes; it depends a lot on the specific content of the post, the context in which its arising, and how much the issues with its framing are a matter of an apparent accidental big mismatch between intent/goal and presentation vs. not great but apparently more or less intentional choice of presentation.

The bar for intervening is relatively high, partly because we want people to mostly be able to post what they want and partly because doing so adds lag time to the whole process, sometimes a lot if e.g. the user doesn't have an email address they check regularly associated with their profile (this is more common with longer-time users) and we have to chase down the question of a lack of response via mefimail or other channels when we don't hear back, during which time they might be frustrated by what they're misinterpreting as stonewalling.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:29 AM on January 16, 2015


The whole world is kalessin's class and we are all just students
posted by Hoopo at 10:31 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I hardly doubt the way this post was "framed" is what caused this. If you think so you've not been paying attention. When you frighten the pack of wolves they're going to attack.
posted by BStrummin at 10:32 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh shit, wolves!
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2015 [28 favorites]


I thought they were tomcats? or maybe "wild things"? the dehumanizing metaphors are shifting too quickly for me to stay on top of
posted by kagredon at 10:36 AM on January 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


Frighten?
posted by rtha at 10:37 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Squirrel Girl?
posted by boo_radley at 10:38 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hardly doubt the way this post was "framed" is what caused this. If you think so you've not been paying attention. When you frighten the pack of wolves they're going to attack.

Oo, plausibly cryptic and attributive of a pack mentality amongst those you disagree with and armchair psychologizing that makes the psychologizerater the one in a position of true righteousness and power: not wolves but scared wolves. Very economical.

Also hah hah obvious sockpuppet with a grudge is obvious.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:38 AM on January 16, 2015 [17 favorites]


When you frighten the pack of wolves they're going to attack.

wolves are known for attacking when frightened, leading to common phrases like "Red Riding Hood And The Big Scared Wolf" or "The Wolf At The Door, Having Social Anxiety About Whether To Come In"
posted by Greg Nog at 10:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [54 favorites]


MoonOrb, I do say this in good faith, but I think the "not made in good faith" accusation comes out a bit too easy these days to dismiss discussions that are uncomfortable and don't assume the majority oppinion. I'm pretty sure misha is being sincere, even if you don't like what she is saying.

Fair enough, we can agree to disagree on this. I'd say first that what you just wrote feels a lot like me to what I might have written several months ago, but the more of misha's participation I witness, the less I have felt that way. And second, while I don't think this MeTa was in good faith--I don't really believe it's about misha's honest inquiry into "why isn't that threadshitting" but much more about "I don't like NoraReed" coupled with "why are people so quick to be mean to men," which has been her hobbyhorse around these parts forever--what I mean by my comment is that whether misha's participation on feminism and sexism topics is now very much an open question for me that has to be always evaluated against the backdrop of her history here. I'm not saying that I think we should presume instead that her comments on these topics are always in bad faith, just that we should no longer presume the opposite.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


Thank you for illustrating so nicely.
posted by BStrummin at 10:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


lol
posted by kagredon at 10:40 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


I realize you don't give a shit what I think of you,

Not at all. Sorry, but I don't recall us interacting before this point, so there's reason not to take you seriously. Especially since all you've said to me in this thread is "hey, maybe you should chill the fuck outl'. Which is completely understandable.

but since you've said that it takes you a while to learn things sometimes, I will say that if you're trying to dial down the temperature in this thread, this is an actively counterproductive response.

Not trying to dial down the temperature of the thread at all. I absolutely see no reason to do so, because the consensus in this thread is that it's ok to be shouty and mocky in a comment on the site, when you're mad about someone or something.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:42 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Please, Guy Who Joined The Site Literally Two Days Ago, tell us exactly how long you have been "paying attention"?
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Such insight, BStrummin, wow.
posted by Dysk at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bstrummin, this is a pretty unproductive way to jump into the discussion. Please either try to approach this more substantially or give it a pass.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wolverine wasn't really a mutant anyway.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2015


Oo there you go. Embrace the dark side.
posted by BStrummin at 10:44 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just me and the particular history of it I have been subject to, but sockpuppets in meta seems definitively bad faith to me...
posted by Dysk at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2015 [20 favorites]


Thank you for illustrating so nicely.

Fuck, this guy burned us! Wolves, we need to do better! Our logic is no match for his calm Mallard Fillmore-like demeanor! This guy... he's good. He's very good.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


Bstrummin, this is a pretty unproductive way to jump into the discussion.

Whoops sorry. I forgot rule one was to jump on the "bad faith considering the grudge I have against this user" band wagon.
posted by BStrummin at 10:47 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Brandon, I don't know why this is one of those can't-take-a-hint days for you but cut it out in this thread at this point, period.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Things not present in this thread:

1) Hammers
2) Fire
3) Pissing tomcats
4) Acid
5) Frightened wolves

There's a rather one-sided dynamic that I've seen in way too many MeTa threads of

A: Well you're all being SJW warriors/ganging up on X/engaging in horrible violence
Several users: WTF are you talking about?
A: SEE WHAT I MEAN???

This is not the sick iceburn you think it is. It is a transparent ploy to characterize any counter-criticism of an initial criticism as the Real Problem and it's weak stuff. Criticism is not an AD&D campaign or a post-apocolyptic death match.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [31 favorites]


I have no idea why the mods think that these public hatings are productive, but it's definitely the most vile and saddening part of a site I generally like.
posted by selfnoise at 10:49 AM on January 16, 2015 [15 favorites]


Not trying to dial down the temperature of the thread at all. I absolutely see no reason to do so, because the consensus in this thread is that it's ok to be shouty and mocky in a comment on the site, when you're mad about someone or something.

It's okay to be shouty and mocky about people who're the subjects of FPPs. It's not okay to be shouty and mocky of other commenters. "[I]n a comment on the site" is orthogonal to the point.
posted by asterix at 10:49 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


> I have no idea why the mods think that these public hatings are productive

I don't think any of them said that this horseshit was productive.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:57 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A few comments removed, please (a) reload/preview to make sure you're not responding to deleted stuff and (b) just plain cool it if I've asked you to do so.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:58 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cheers, thanks for the answer. That was mostly what I imagined the answer would be, and it was interesting to hear some of the "whys" that I hadn't considered.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:03 AM on January 16, 2015


I agree with NoraReed's original comment in the blue so I'm mostly on her side in this MeTa, but I don't think we generally allow users to tell one another to fuck themselves even in MeTa, with or without a cactus. That was my understanding of the base line of civility we draw here.

I do generally support the issue of greater civility on MetaFilter in general so I didn't think the MeTa was terrible, but I didn't agree with it in this case.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:07 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


posted by BStrummin

The kid is not my son!
posted by Mr. B Natural at 11:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


So I can just randomly go MAROOOOOOOooooOOO now in threads and assume others will join in the byuteefool moosick mehd by tha childrens ov tha night?

MarOOOoooOOOooO!
posted by winna at 11:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


I agree with NoraReed's original comment in the blue so I'm mostly on her side in this MeTa, but I don't think we generally allow users to tell one another to fuck themselves even in MeTa, with or without a cactus. That was my understanding of the base line of civility we draw here.

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 11:09 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not a sock puppet. Just sick of this bullshit game getting played on a website that I'd been a member of for >10 years. The pile ons, the vitriol. It's really sad that loud obnoxious voices have been allowed to take over. That's great if its better for you, but you alienate lots of other users. What used to be best of the web is now "OMG I'M SO ANGRY ABOUT THIS!"

Cue the "oh just another angry boyzone Loozer!"

Enjoy the $5er.
posted by BStrummin at 11:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


*cries*
posted by Mr. B Natural at 11:10 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Given that NoraReed's remark was I'd like to invite anyone else who wants to try to use that as a club against me or anyone else to fuck themselves with a cactus, it seems clear to me she's not actually telling anybody here to go fuck themselves unless they try to use her candor about her mental health as a weapon against her.

Don't want the admonition about fucking oneself with a cactus to apply to one? Don't use other commenters' mental health against them in ablelist slurs. Pretty easy.
posted by Lexica at 11:11 AM on January 16, 2015 [31 favorites]




but I don't think we generally allow users to tell one another to fuck themselves even in MeTa, with or without a cactus.

We generally don't and the comment in question didn't directly do so either, but it's still pushing it an awful lot and not helping so I agree with your dislike of it and would rather that shit not recur.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:11 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow there is some smug nonsense going on in this thread.

I keep picturing people hitting the "Post Comment" button, leaning back in their chairs and saying "Nailed it!" under their breath.

Look, we're obviously stuck in some kind of feedback loop where people are feeling cornered and attacked and lashing out at each other with more and more venom.

Officially casting my vote for closing this MetaTalk before we burn anything else to the ground.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 11:15 AM on January 16, 2015 [24 favorites]


The whole world is kalessin's class and we are all just students

Back when I was active on MOOs (LambdaMOO in particular) I got this rep for being "honorable". Part of it was because honor was (and is still) important to me. Part of it was because my friends tried to, at some point, promote this idea that I was honorable. Probably because I was running in local elections. Anyway, it didn't do me a lick of good, because detractors were just dicks about it. For a while I thought it was because I wasn't honorable enough or they didn't see it or whatever, but in time I got the message that people who are going to be dicks about something that's important to you like it that it's important to you. That way when they're dicks about it, Hoopo, it hurts a little more and that's fun, isn't it?

So yeah, I like to know stuff and I like to try to pass that on. To me, that's contributing to the community. I do like having it acknowledged sometimes, but preferably in a more complementary way. I get that I don't always get what I want and I'm okay with that.

But i could do with less shitty passive-aggressiveness.
posted by kalessin at 11:15 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not a sock puppet.

oh yes you are.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


wolves, lower
posted by octobersurprise at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


What's the end point of this thread? I think it's pretty established the comment in question was considered and in good faith, however prickly/unequivocal it may read. Are we just randomly tossing off pissy comments at people we don't like now?
posted by naju at 11:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Not a sock puppet. Just sick of this bullshit game getting played on a website that I'd been a member of for >10 years.

Ah: a Brand New Same Old Day account then.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:17 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think the end point of this thread is that everybody joins me two threads up for a game of Diplomacy, where nothing ever gets nasty at all.
posted by jbickers at 11:18 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not a sock puppet. Just sick of this bullshit game getting played on a website that I'd been a member of for >10 years.... Enjoy the $5er.

This sounds a lot like you have another membership and are using this one to keep people from connecting these comments to that other membership.

That is sock puppeting.
posted by Etrigan at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


Well, BStrummin's account is closed. Maybe some of you scared little wolves should think about how you drove away a member that clearly had a lot of interesting things to contribute. Think about that, in your scared wolf minds, behind your big wolf teeth, which are made of cotton, but also the cotton is poisonous. And the cotton is part of a gang, but not a cool gang, a gross gang that no one likes.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:22 AM on January 16, 2015 [60 favorites]


To be clear, BStrummin's account was not a sock; he had no other active account when he opened it. If it were a sock I'd have clamped down sooner and harder.

However, the idea of Brand New Day is not to come back with a new account firing live ammo about long-time site grudges and so on, so it's a lousy approach to an otherwise legitimate account.

He's since closed it, so I think we should just leave it at that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Bentobox Humperdinck, you sorta misread my comment. I didn't say I have no idea why my wife isn't into superhero comics, I said I have no idea how much of her indifference is due to any particular reason: that they're silly, that they're violent, the way women are drawn most of the time, that she has a long list of other stuff she'd rather be reading and thinking about, etc.

And that's mostly because there aren't enough hours in the day to talk about all the stuff we're both way more interested in than, "What percentage of your indifference to superhero comics would you say is due to off-putting depictions of women?"

However when you put it this way:

I just thought since he enjoyed his daughters' process of thumbs-upping and thumbs-downing, he might have some curiosity about what it was like for his wife going through that process as a little girl.


That does sound kinda interesting. It's been a while since we've had many conversations about, "What was X like when you were a kid?" and I think we might enjoy that, so thanks for the idea.
posted by straight at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


So you're saying Kool and the Gang were werewolves.

I kind of always suspected it.
posted by maxsparber at 11:23 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I can say from experience that when using your real name here on Metafilter makes you a target for online harassment, you understand why someone might want to use a sock puppet here.
posted by misha at 11:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


[Comment removed. Brandon, if you want this to stay limited to take-a-day-off levels you need to cut it the fuck out immediately.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


What's the end point of this thread?

I think that's a pretty reasonable question at this point and I'm not sure I have an answer either. I don't know if it's Friday or the new year or something in the water but if folks have anything really substantial they want to discuss in here further I think it'd be a good idea to go ahead and get down to it and help get this thing back onto something resembling the rails; if folks mostly just want to just sort of beef at each other some more or settle the best-mutant argument, that can probably wait for another thread that hasn't been such a weird mess already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:32 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can say from experience that when using your real name here on Metafilter makes you a target for online harassment, you understand why someone might want to use a sock puppet here.

I don't see the connection. We're talking about a person who barged into a thread to accuse everyone of being violent, emotionally-unstable animals while simultaneously lamenting the lack of reasoned discussion and "best of the web" here. This has nothing to do with protecting your real identity from being a target of online harrassment.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:33 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Before shutting this down, can we please clarify first that "sock puppet" has a MeFi-specific meaning that isn't synonymous with "pseudonymous account"?
posted by Lexica at 11:36 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


if folks have anything really substantial they want to discuss in here further I think it'd be a good idea to go ahead and get down to it

Who is the best wolf-mutant and what is their favorite cookie?
posted by octobersurprise at 11:36 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would not define "people are publicly saying they dislike me on social sites elsewhere on the internet" as online harassment, personally. I would lean towards using that phrase for stuff like following users here on other sites to see what they're saying about you and then using that to try and prove a point about how terrible everyone else but you is behaving.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:37 AM on January 16, 2015 [36 favorites]


Before shutting this down, can we please clarify first that "sock puppet" has a MeFi-specific meaning that isn't synonymous with "pseudonymous account"?

Sockpuppet/sock account, in Metafilter terms, generally means "spare/extra account for mostly privacy reasons, in addition to your main account", and is agnostic about whether either main or sock account is pseudonymous or not. Metafilter in general is agnostic in policy terms about pseudonymy; most of our policy/guideline stuff about accounts has to do with how/when/why it's being used and by whom, not what the username is.

For a much longer and more specific take on the subject, see this Metatalk post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:40 AM on January 16, 2015


I can say from experience that when using your real name here on Metafilter makes you a target for online harassment, you understand why someone might want to use a sock puppet here.

I don't use my real name online at all except in the explicitly "real name only" internet. Even my Facebook is set to Nickname + First Initial and my very best online friends only know my RL nickname and not my full name. This account isn't a sockpuppet, though, because it's an established identity in and of itself and I'm not actually the second (or third or fourth) account of some "other" identity: as far as MeFi goes, I am The Master and Margarita Mix, period, and I'm also not anyone else on MeFi.

You are making a false equivalence. As the man says, "I don't think that means what you think it means".
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 11:40 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


I would not define "people are publicly saying they dislike me on social sites elsewhere on the internet" as online harassment, personally. I would lean towards using that phrase for stuff like following users here on other sites to see what they're saying about you and then using that to try and prove a point about how terrible everyone else but you is behaving.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:37 PM on January 16


Why do you assume that is all that is going on? How do you know anything about that anyway?
posted by misha at 11:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


How do you know anything about that anyway?

I can't speak for anybody else, but Twitter keeps recommending that I follow other Mefites. Sometimes I look at their profiles, which show their recent tweets and sometimes show who they have recently followed.
posted by immlass at 11:47 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think we probably shouldn't be coy about the posts that happened offsite, and maybe you could just respond to them in the same manner on those sites rather than bringing more teenage drama here.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Please shut this down. Nothing productive is happening at this point. I have no idea what's going on with Misha and social sites elsewhere on the internet, but I don't think it is best addressed here.

(Headline: "Area Man asks moderator to close conversation about feminism." This name sometimes, and only sometimes, prevents me from making an ass of myself. I start to type something, imagine a headline like, "Area Man Tries to Make Rape Thread All About Him," and then quickly delete or re-write my comment. )
posted by Area Man at 11:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [28 favorites]


So I am a person who not infrequently yells a lot and gets intemperate. To some degree, I believe it to be interacting with this site as a real person with real feelings, not always thought all the way through, not treating every comment as the fifth draft of a thesis, just me being me whatever I am. To some degree, I need to take it down more than a couple notches because it's annoying noise. I don't mean to say that I think my thoughts and feelings are invalid, of course I think they're valid, but I can always do better at expressing myself. I consider it and myself to be a work in progress.

I get animated, though, because whatever I'm being intemperate about matters to me a great deal, and I reject the notion that only dispassionate comments are sufficiently rational. I feel like the "here comes the angry brigade to angry about the angry things" stuff is pretty dismissive, regardless of how ineffective any given comment's language is. Just because something doesn't matter to you doesn't mean someone else is wasting their time caring about it.

I don't know, I've been ornery lately because I had the flu for three weeks and it was some goddamn bullshit. But when I'm, for example, yelling about the Tobias Wolff essay that was referenced way up there in the thread before everything went nuts, it's not because I feel some need to yell at all the white guys who talk about racism or I need to keep up my liberal credentials. I get the feeling that some people think there's a loose cadre of SJW activists just salivating at the thought of jumping up and down on someone for the smallest variance from the party line. To me, that's bad faith, but I imagine that anyone who feels like that thinks the other people are acting in bad faith too. I don't really know what to do about that, other than to try not to jump to jumping up and down so much but also imploring people to treat other people like they really do mean what they're saying.

I guess this is getting closed soon, so cool. I've just had that feeling here for a while, I think it permeates some of the reaction to NoraReed's comment, and if that is how people are interacting with other people, I don't like it.
posted by Errant at 11:50 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ach, poor Brandon, trying to treat other users the way he is treated and discovering how harsh the penalty for that is.

It's okay to be shouty and mocky about people who're the subjects of FPPs. It's not okay to be shouty and mocky of other commenters.

vs.
I have realized that I do not give a single shit about your garbage opinions.


And of course

I'm self-identified as a feminist and ally. So this is kind of a highly objectionable characterization of what I'm saying, as you can imagine. Please don't.

We have already established that even if you consider yourself a feminist and ally, you may be criticized by others for being a poor feminist and a poor ally, and even if you don't like someone noting that you are mad about "a woman complaining a lot," that is in fact what is going on. So maybe it is sometimes okay to be mad at a woman complaining a lot. Or maybe there is some misogyny underlying your behavior, try as you might to do better. But either way, just saying "I don't like it when you say I'm maybe doing something kind of sexist" is not particularly meaningful.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 11:54 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


To be clear: I'm not being coy about anything, but what things like twitter do is encourage people to follow each other. A lot of Mefites are connected on twitter or FB or whatever and that means we're all encouraged to follow each other by those sites. So basically 1. if you're on one of these sites, you will probably run across other Mefites, especially if your profile is connected on Metafilter and 2. This means you will see people commenting about things that happen on Metafilter.

There's no secret sauce here. It's how social media sites work.
posted by immlass at 11:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wow. Look, this stuff isn't funny. I had a couple Mormons show up at my house and they've never come here before. I can't ignore the timing of that happening so soon after that glitter prank thread where someone specifically brought up pranking people that way and linked to the Mormon site.

This is freaking me out. Anyone who thinks it's fun to do this kind of stuff because you fucking disagree with me online, thank you for making me feel completely unsafe here on Metafilter.

You win.
posted by misha at 11:55 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sorry, that coy comment was meant for misha.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:55 AM on January 16, 2015


You know, I once got into a fight tangentially related to Metafilter on another blog. Okay, it was less a "fight" and more "lets say all kinds of shitty, untrue, and bullying things about Justinian while using our moderating abilities to actively prevent him from even replying". Which made me pretty mad. But cortex basically said "yeah, that's shitty but please don't expand the fight to Metafilter even if you're mad".

So I didn't.

I suggest the same.
posted by Justinian at 11:56 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


No offense taken, Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton, just clarifying.
posted by immlass at 12:00 PM on January 16, 2015


This is freaking me out. Anyone who thinks it's fun to do this kind of stuff because you fucking disagree with me online, thank you for making me feel completely unsafe here on Metafilter.

Hell of an accusation to jump straight to implying it must've been a mefite, imo.
posted by Dysk at 12:00 PM on January 16, 2015 [33 favorites]


I had a couple Mormons show up at my house and they've never come here before.

Candygram!
posted by octobersurprise at 12:03 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


what the hell do Mormons have to do with this thread?
posted by zombieflanders at 12:04 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I sincerely hope that was a coincidence, misha. As a former Mormon missionary who owes a lot of complete strangers apologies for showing up out of the blue at their door, I want to apologize. I didn't send them. Their territories change from time to time, and their intent is to show up everywhere sooner or later.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 12:05 PM on January 16, 2015 [16 favorites]


I've blown my quota here, but misha's account is disabled now...
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 12:05 PM on January 16, 2015


I think when we're at the point where we're accusing other members of sending Mormons to our door as a revenge prank, things have gone off the rails a little.

I mean, yes, it's a weird coincidence. But if it wasn't weird and seemingly unlikely, it wouldn't be a coincidence.

Mormons show up at people's doors all the time. If you suspect somebody here of having sent them, it's on you to actually get some proof, rather than pointing to a several day old comment as being evidence that other members are targeting you in real life.

And if you do get the evidence, contact the mods. If you don't, though, man, that really is a hell of a thing to throw out there.
posted by maxsparber at 12:06 PM on January 16, 2015 [32 favorites]


I didn't think that the LDS 'request missionaries' request form worked quite that fast as a same-day turnover. (You'd think they'd verify now, since those poor missionaries get sent on prank calls all the time. I feel bad for them, because that's already a crappy job full of abuse, and they don't need more of it)
posted by FritoKAL at 12:08 PM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


There's no secret sauce here. It's how social media sites work.

I don't even have fb or twitter accounts, ffs. What I do have is an inbox full of anon asks from presumably mefites who are linking me to stuff that is mefi-related.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:09 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeeeah, regardless, maybe this thread should be closed up. Hopefully the boil has been lanced and the vitriol has been (for now) drained.

And Mormons show up at everyone's house sooner or later.
posted by Kitteh at 12:10 PM on January 16, 2015


I've never had Mormons show up at my door until they show up at my door. In my neighborhood, Spanish-speaking Jehovah's Witnesses are way more likely.
posted by rtha at 12:11 PM on January 16, 2015


I didn't think that the LDS 'request missionaries' request form worked quite that fast as a same-day turnover.

You need to call the dedicated internet harassment hotline.
posted by mullacc at 12:11 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


misha's closed her account and I don't think there's really anywhere for this to go at this point discussing that angle further, so if folks could drop it that would be helpful.

As a mefi policy thing, I'll reiterate just in general that if you have specific concerns about harassment, please contact us with the details and we can look into it. We can reasonably mediate on-site interactions, and will look seriously at off-site stuff that goes beyond the realm of people being generically grumpy or catty or gossipy in public elsewhere.

People being generically grumpy/catty/gossipy on e.g. twitter, while in my opinion often pretty crappy, isn't itself the kind of thing that falls under that umbrella: it's more of a "if people are being jerks in their own space, block/killfile/ignore them and let it be their problem" thing than actionable harassment. That said, it's okay to check with us if you feel like there's something exceptional or unusual going on beyond just people being kind of jerkish, or want to let us know about something you feel like is a subtle pattern of problematic tied-to-Metafilter behavior.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:12 PM on January 16, 2015 [10 favorites]


What the fuck!
posted by oceanjesse at 12:13 PM on January 16, 2015


misha, if you're reading this, do consider coming back. People will snark on other sites, but I think it would be a highly unlikely someone sent Mormons to you.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:15 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sending missionaries to harass someone would be such a terrible thing to do that I can't imagine the thought process in which that would be considered a bright notion. Jesus.
posted by winna at 12:23 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Mormons are not your personal army.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:29 PM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


When I was a child my grandmother used to tell me that I had to be good or the Masons would get me. Haven't liked those tiny cars since.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:34 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Misha, I really hope that they weren't sent by a user here (and even if they were, just offer them a Pepsi and they'll go away), but either way, I hope you come back. The site is poorer without your perspective.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 12:36 PM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well whatever team "that post was mean and wrong" was trying to prove here, I'm not even 100% caught up but you've already said a bunch of shit way more vile and fucked up than anything anyone supporting that post has posted in the past couple months, or possibly ever.

And especially here.

Way to raise the temperature of the room. Yea.
posted by emptythought at 12:39 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can't think of anything less Metafilter than hiring religious missionaries to harass someone, except maybe shipping them a copy of Atlas Shrugged or something.
posted by Errant at 12:41 PM on January 16, 2015 [25 favorites]


What I do have is an inbox full of anon asks from presumably mefites who are linking me to stuff that is mefi-related.

I would say this privately but I don't know where your ask is (though I would use my name if I did): that sort of shit-stirring sucks.
posted by immlass at 12:43 PM on January 16, 2015


When I was a child my grandmother used to tell me that I had to be good or the Masons would get me. Haven't liked those tiny cars since.

It's Shriners that parade in tiny cars, not Masons. Go ahead and start liking the tiny cars (and tiny 18 wheelers) again.
posted by notyou at 12:44 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that "MeFi meanies mauled me with Mormons" thing is batshit, but she's buttoned and there's not much point making fun of her any more and this thread is going nowhere good and I don't know any mutants and for the love of all that's holy can we close it now??
posted by languagehat at 12:44 PM on January 16, 2015 [12 favorites]


Note: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's Shriners that parade in tiny cars, not Masons.

Shriners are Masons, though not all Masons are Shriners.
posted by malocchio at 12:47 PM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


and for the love of all that's holy can we close it now

Yeah, I think let's do that. If there's some non-personal thing in here that folks want to discuss more, go ahead and plan to make a new Metatalk that can start fresh about whatever that topic is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:49 PM on January 16, 2015 [11 favorites]


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