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How about the women of MetaFilter do their part in making MeFi a Girlzone?
March 28, 2003 6:06 AM   Subscribe

Women Unite!

There are many comments regarding MetaFilter being a boyzone. Frankly, I agree that it is. In a "two wrongs don't make a right" frame of mind, how about the women of MetaFilter do their part in making MeFi a Girlzone? After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?
posted by ashbury to Etiquette/Policy at 6:06 AM (159 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Funny. To me most of the people on MeFi are androgynous...
posted by twine42 at 6:29 AM on March 28, 2003


The trouble is most MeFi women don't use obviously female usernames to immediately self-identify themselves as women. There's a serious lack of '-chick' and '-grrl' suffixes around these parts when compared to other sites like Fark. I think this is probably because a lot of them would rather not be the immediate subject of chatting-up within threads when all they would really want to do is participate in the discussion at hand.

I don't really see this as a bad thing, but I'd certainly welcome more women on board. From my perspective, gender doesn't seem to be much of an issue among posters, but I could be wrong, me being a man and all :)
posted by Space Coyote at 6:31 AM on March 28, 2003


Not only am I a woman, I'm an older woman. (44.) Let me know how I can do my part for gender equality.
posted by konolia at 6:35 AM on March 28, 2003


How about a rollcall of MeFiFemales? I'd be interested to see a list. Just the other day I found out our esteemed RJ is not, as commonly supposed, a guy.
posted by Shane at 6:42 AM on March 28, 2003


STAND AND BE COUNTED!
(Unless you want to remain gender-ambiguous. Fine by me, if so.)
posted by Shane at 6:51 AM on March 28, 2003


I'm there with twine42 on the androgeny. Are "boyzone" comments defined as sexist comments? 'Cuz I don't see that much "check out the thundaxers on that honey" or "Only a silly, purse-toting lady would say that" round here.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:52 AM on March 28, 2003


Perhaps it's that I've always had more guy friends than girl friends, but whatever degree of boyzone we have here, it's never bothered me.
posted by katieinshoes at 7:01 AM on March 28, 2003


Hey Ladies!
posted by TurkishGolds at 7:04 AM on March 28, 2003


Riffola kisses you.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:09 AM on March 28, 2003


my username gives me away.
posted by dabitch at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2003


My username doesn't...
posted by Karmakaze at 7:20 AM on March 28, 2003


How do you propose that we make metafilter a girlzone, ashbury? Huh, ashbury? Huh? How? By posting links to videos of guys playing the piano, or something?
posted by iconomy at 7:40 AM on March 28, 2003


In a "two wrongs don't make a right" frame of mind, how about the women of MetaFilter do their part in making MeFi a Girlzone?

Shouldn't that be a "'two wrongs DO make a right' frame of mind"?


Has gender ever been included on any of the charts of Mefites (like the Political Compass, which I know does not enumerate gender)?
(This thread so far: we have 6 women commenting.)
posted by Shane at 7:45 AM on March 28, 2003


i am simply grateful we aren't a smurfette zone. (NSFW)
posted by quonsar at 7:47 AM on March 28, 2003


Yo, all the MeFemmes are at my place having caviar and Dom Perignon in my platinum plated jacuzzi, so don't worry bout a thing.

Don't hate the player, hate the game...
posted by jonmc at 7:49 AM on March 28, 2003


Um, RJ is a guy. I met him in the flesh. If you're talking about RJReynolds, that is. I'm sure he'd be amused to find out he's been outed as a girl.

Most of the time I don't feel like Metafilter is a boyzone, although there have been some exceptions of the "I'd hit it/not hit it" kind.
posted by witchstone at 7:50 AM on March 28, 2003


There's a serious lack of '-chick' and '-grrl' suffixes around these parts when compared to other sites like Fark.

maybe it's because both of those suffixes seem monumentally stupid and outdated. or maybe the type of "chicks" that post around here are secure enough in their gender to not have to proclaim it every time they post. it is rarely relevant to the discussion, anyway.

iconomy! I was gonna post that!
posted by whatnot at 7:53 AM on March 28, 2003


i'd not hit it.
posted by quonsar at 7:54 AM on March 28, 2003


So it "sprang" to your mind too, whatnot?
posted by iconomy at 7:59 AM on March 28, 2003


To me, it's perfectly clear (and regrettable) that MeFi is a boyzone. And no, PST, that doesn't equal sexist comments (though there are enough of those). You know how you can go into an apartment and immediately know that there are only guys living there, even though there aren't any pictures of naked wimmin immediately visible? That's what it's like. Oh, the gals will drop by and put a potted plant in the corner or hang a nice curtain on the window, hoping to civilize it a little, but the plant dies and some John Belushi type uses the curtain to wipe a beer spill off the table so he can put his legs up on it, and before you know it it's just like it was before. Kudos to the women who keep trying.

Shane, unless you're a woman with an unlikely name I only count five women commenting (konolia, katie, dabitch, karmakaze, iconomy).
On preview: OK, now there's seven.
posted by languagehat at 8:06 AM on March 28, 2003


The only time I've ever really mentioned my gender (outside my user page) was when someone assumed that my gender was the one that I'm not. Or if it's relevant to the discussion

The quality of my comments isn't improved or degraded depending on what sort of equipment was or was not installed at the factory.

That said, there is a regrettable tendency of most folks here (myself included, alas) to assume that a poster is male unless specifically told otherwise (or via the user page). That, I think, is a problem, but lord knows I have no idea how to solve it.
posted by eilatan at 8:08 AM on March 28, 2003


It has nothing to do with being a man or a woman. The so-called boyzone hegemony (which, I agree, is getting worse by the day) is entirely due to the fact that a large part of our membership lead highly unsatisfactory sex lives - and make a point of sharing it here. Transparently. Grown-upness is what is needed, not gender balance.

A similar girlzone would be equally revolting. Though less likely: I'd guess there's about one frustrated harridanette to every hundred sex-starved overgrown, past-their-sex-by-date male adolescents with a chip in their pants on their shoulders. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:15 AM on March 28, 2003


I don't think mefi is boyzone either. Immature sometimes, that's all.
posted by ginz at 8:15 AM on March 28, 2003


I think the 'I'd hit it / not hit it' link was more about what is attractive than the Farkish version of it. But I was involved, so I'm biased.

Could someone on the server side do a database call for male and female in the gender part of the profile? Not accurate but a decent guesstimate...?
posted by twine42 at 8:15 AM on March 28, 2003


I like to think that all the other MeFites are boys, and I'm the only girl, and that after we're done posting, everyone buys me drinks and tells me I'm pretty.

The only problem with my worldview is that there are no MeFites with which to have pillow fights in my underwear.
posted by padraigin at 8:16 AM on March 28, 2003


Um, RJ is a guy.

(S)he said "AKA Veronica" once, which I guess fooled me...

Shane, unless you're a woman with an unlikely name I only count five women commenting (konolia, katie, dabitch, karmakaze, iconomy).

I assumed from this post that ashbury was a woman. I guess not, though. (Please, everyone be so kind as to skip the "When you assume, you make an ass out of..." lecture.) But if ashbury were a woman, I'm sure you wold quickly point out that (s)he did not comment, (s)he posted the thread, and would therefore by the strictest definition not be commenting. I know you're "detail-oriented" like that...

A similar girlzone would be equally revolting.

It would not bother nor intimidate me if female Mefites were more aggressively sexual or grrlish. It's healthy when it's not carried out to a ridiculous extent, and it's only fair.
posted by Shane at 8:19 AM on March 28, 2003


In all seriousness, I do want to say that in all my time here--lurking and registered--I've never noticed a trend toward boyzonehood. Boyzoniness. Boyzonification. Ahem.

Some threads go that way, but some threads go a lot of ways, and if you get started tarring all of Metafilter with the same brush you'd tar one thread, well, you'd have to invent MetaTalk all over again.

Frankly, I've always felt there was a nice, maybe not perfect, balance here. Not like say, Slashdot, where they've never seen boobies.
posted by padraigin at 8:23 AM on March 28, 2003


I originally chose this nick to hide all gender/age/race information.

I wonder if all identification isn't used to pigeonhole members. On the other hand, I've had comments here on MetaFilter where users responded less to my comment and more to my assumed nationality. I guess if you don't tell people what you are they'll make assumptions.

OK. So I'll come out of the closet: I'm a woman with Y chromosome poisoning. I am currently older than my parents, but younger than my children. As for my race: at various times I've been accused of being cracker, mixed, middle-eastern, "darkie", and Creole. Let's not even get into sexual orientation.

Now, Matt, how do I change my nick to: grrl?!boy

konolia: 44 is no where near old here. tsarfan is 109
posted by ?! at 8:28 AM on March 28, 2003


The only problem with my worldview is that there are no MeFites with which to have pillow fights in my underwear.

That's funny, padraigin! You're funny... and pretty! Can I buy you a drink?
posted by jonson at 8:31 AM on March 28, 2003


the melody haunts me, iconomy, when i am feeling low
posted by whatnot at 8:40 AM on March 28, 2003


Am I the first one to shout for Madamjujujive in this thread?
posted by planetkyoto at 8:41 AM on March 28, 2003


Oh, this thread is unusually rich in taglines.

Metafilter: highly unsatisfactory sex lives

Metafilter: Not like say, Slashdot, where they've never seen boobies.

planetkyoto: this thread needs Madamjujujive
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:51 AM on March 28, 2003


Shane, I'm a guy, but in the immortal words of Pete Townsend and Alex Keaton (Family Ties), "Today I Am A Woman!"

Iconomy, that piano playing is exactly what I mean. And I'm sure some of the male members (heh heh) would enjoy the girlzonification as well.
posted by ashbury at 8:53 AM on March 28, 2003


if(getUsrGender("Ms.JaneDoe") == "female"){

return("obvious");

}

In other news, isn't it funny to assume what constitutes "male" and "female" posts/topics/comments when, really, talking about technology/wars/new site designs shouldn't == "male". I mean, isn't defining the "male" tone in specific terms limiting what can be considered in the female tone? I dunno, just a thought, I don't exactly think what I just said.

/on the fence until further notice
posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 8:55 AM on March 28, 2003


And I'm sure some of the male members (heh heh) would enjoy the girlzonification as well.

Gayzonification? It's all good as far as I'm concerned, as long as it's not cliques. The more the merrier.
posted by Shane at 8:57 AM on March 28, 2003


PrinceValium: Riffola kisses you.
Oh come on! MetaFilter is the only place on this intarweb where people think this joke is worth making. It makes me sad, very sad, I am going to cry now.
posted by riffola at 8:59 AM on March 28, 2003


#I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but the site won't admit it, I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy...

Ahem.
posted by twine42 at 8:59 AM on March 28, 2003


*scratches self, belches*
posted by quonsar at 8:59 AM on March 28, 2003


Shriek! I've been dragged into MeTa over my gender assignment. I'm just a really faggy man, for the record. Let's just say my mom's a super-huge mega-dyke, and it left an indelible impression.

Back on topic: in many organizations that are anarchistic in bent to which I've belonged, a women's meeting or caucus or chatroom or email list or side-site has been efficient and fun in promoting women's involvement, blowing off steam, and remaining sane in the face of a largely male group. Nothing like that has come out of MeFi, and I don't know if it's even feasible, but maybe if the women felt continually isolated or rankled that would be cool for them. Or, they can continue to smack down men when they get out of line. That would be entertaining for me!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:07 AM on March 28, 2003


*scratches self, belches*

Dude, put some pants on! There are girls here!
posted by me3dia at 9:09 AM on March 28, 2003


Or, they can continue to smack down men when they get out of line.

I see I am needed again.
posted by your mother at 9:14 AM on March 28, 2003


MetaFilter: I don't exactly think what I just said.

Although I have occasionally made reference to my wife (here and on my blog), for some reason other bloggers have occasionally assumed I'm female. Must be my good grammar and the fact that I don't go around challenging people to arm-wrestling contests.

*scratches quonsar, belches*
posted by languagehat at 9:18 AM on March 28, 2003


is entirely due to the fact that a large part of our membership lead highly unsatisfactory sex lives

says meta's biggest contributor.
Im female btw : )
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:31 AM on March 28, 2003


I tend to consider Metafilter to be a boyzone. It's not a male chauvanist pig zone, but there more male style than female, I'd say.

It doesn't bother me, becuse I'm confortable with that level of interaction.

Consider, though, the difference in behavior here (and on /., etc) and, say, livejournal, which operates in a much more female mode.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:36 AM on March 28, 2003


Ech, I'm not terribly uncomfortable with the "boyzone" nature of mefi, though I think that the boys could lighten up a bit when it comes to the more fem-centric or male-objectifying posts. It's like they go from Hunter Thompson to Phyllis Schafly in a nanosecond. Maybe us fe-mefites could ease them into the girlzone gently--lots of lube and one knuckle at a time.

As a woman, though, I've gotta wonder what we all share in common besides a chromosome? What I like might offend some of you, and vice versa--how much of a unified front would we be able to present? (For the record-- Likes: vintage physique photos; dislikes: menstrual altars.)
posted by cowboy_sally at 9:37 AM on March 28, 2003


"..... no MeFites with which to have pillow fights in my underwear."

The server pegs as 16,371 male MetaFilter members click on padraigin's user profile to try and find her web log. Thwarted. Damn.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:46 AM on March 28, 2003


It's interesting that if all MeFi boys lead unsatisfactory sex lives, as Miguel posits, they don't seem to notice that they're hanging out in a boyzone...hardly the right environs in which to get laid--by a female at any rate.

But then, that's why I'm here for ya. Right Miguel?

Also, I bless you Ms.JaneDoe
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:47 AM on March 28, 2003


To a certain degree I would asssert that 'Male Answer Sydrome'* is the reason for a proportion of the posts in Mefi (not to mention much of the worlds current situation).
Girls are not usually blighted with an inability to admit that they don't have all the answers, so more likely to actually debate a subject.
*MAS is the clinical term for Pundititis; )

'Pity us modern guys who must adapt to the staggering expectations of a complex world that rightly sees women as intellectual equals. When we communicate at this level, we resort to spraying facts like random shotgun blasts.'
Who'd do a thing like that? Rolls eyes, *need noun here that means 'to scuttle sideways', know there is one* off camera whistling.

posted by asok at 9:51 AM on March 28, 2003


I think it's fairly obvious from my username what I am: a martian.
posted by greengrl at 9:56 AM on March 28, 2003


What I think, is that it's actually kind of nice and humanizing when all the big strong brains around here break from their normal intellectualizing and make cute with the adolescent boytalk.

I'm a post-post feminist, and I've got no beef with porn or the Rat Pack, so I've rarely got anything to get bent--wait, make that upset--over. I'm the first in line to state whether or not I would, in fact, hit it.

But as cowboy_sally astutely points out, an FPP about, say, the ancient use of crocodile dung suppositories as contraception, would probably not be welcomed too warmly around here.

and on preview: naked pictures here
posted by padraigin at 9:58 AM on March 28, 2003


I better amend that before I get a) banned from MeFi or 2) flamed: it's really just a link to a picture of me in the tub with my daughter.

And it's from the shoulder up.

And she's ten weeks old in the picture.
posted by padraigin at 10:24 AM on March 28, 2003


I'd hit it.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:41 AM on March 28, 2003


Ok, I'm off the fence (since having been blessed) and can now stand firm in my whole hearted support of Gayzonification.
posted by Ms.JaneDoe at 10:43 AM on March 28, 2003


Hey planetkyoto, thanks for the shout out!

For the record, I am a woman, and like Konolia, I am not a kid. An aging hippie here, cronedom is encroaching ever more rapidly.

To me, MeFi does list to maleness - languagehat's apartment metaphor was pretty good...you just know it is. Right down to eillatan's point about most defaulting to male in their assumptions of gender neutral names, myself included.

Generally, the climate here is pretty neutral - the truly offensive stuff is rare. More troublesome is the aggression in some controversial threads which seems pretty testosterone-y to me. Not that women can't be contentious, but many guys tend to escalate very quickly and leave little face-saving room.

I do think women are still a thin group here and I am always happy when someone I didn't suspect is "outed"! Balance in life is a good thing.

If I had to cavil, I would point more to "americanism" and "ageism" than any pervasive sexism. I don't think most "slant" is intentional - many just have a natural proclivity to view everyone in their group to be similar to themselves.

I really value some of the softer and sillier threads where people show more of their humanity and humor than many issues or news threads where people tend to posture. Threads like this or the political compass do a lot to unify and build bridges. Thanks ashbury!
posted by madamjujujive at 10:49 AM on March 28, 2003


gender issues are so 1967...
posted by zerofoks at 11:03 AM on March 28, 2003


It's interesting that if all MeFi boys lead unsatisfactory sex lives, as Miguel posits, they don't seem to notice that they're hanging out in a boyzone...hardly the right environs in which to get laid--by a female at any rate.

It works for some people. But I think the implication is that there are people so hapless at the mating ritual that they feel more comfortable commisserating with others of their kind than they do trying to get some action.

This becomes unnecessary when you learn that sex, while wonderful, is not only not everything, it is not nearly as important as you once thought it was. Which is where the growing-up part comes in.

The idea that this applies to MetaFilter seems dubious to me. Most people here seem fairly grown-up to me.
posted by kindall at 11:10 AM on March 28, 2003


Put me down in the "female" column. I agree it's kind of a boyzone around here, but in the old BBS days I'd often be the only girl at all, so a small community is better than none.

(Haven't posted in a while..can you believe the nerve of my employer blocking Metafilter?!?!?)
posted by JoanArkham at 11:14 AM on March 28, 2003


Whoa... plate of shrimp... I was just thinking to myself "where the heck is JoanArkham?"
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:23 AM on March 28, 2003


Don't forget that there are at least some women here posting under male pseudonyms.

Like, um, me.
posted by thomas j wise at 11:40 AM on March 28, 2003


This becomes unnecessary when you learn that sex, while wonderful, is not only not everything, it is not nearly as important as you once thought it was. Which is where the growing-up part comes in.

That settles it. I absolutely refuse to grow up.

For what's it's worth, the only time I ever really noticed MeFi resemble anything close to a boyzone was some thread about menstruation back in my lurking days. (the new fangled cup thingy vs. enviro friendly cotton pads).

You fellers are so *cute* when you get grossed out by certain bodily functions.
posted by romakimmy at 11:47 AM on March 28, 2003


d00d! I say "plate of shrimp" like, 15 times a day and no one ever knows what I'm talking about. Bless you. *sob*

Thomas...out of curiosity, why did you decide on a male pseudonym?
posted by JoanArkham at 11:48 AM on March 28, 2003


But I think the implication is that there are people so hapless at the mating ritual that they feel more comfortable commisserating with others of their kind than they do trying to get some action.

More fool they, then. Didn't anyone take the lesson from Revenge of the Nerds to heart? We're hotter than the jocks in sex matters by farrrrrrrrr. Trust me on this.

*looks around, rips bodice whilst no one is looking, blames madamjujujive, but sends quonsar a bill for the damaged lace*
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:07 PM on March 28, 2003


"when you learn that sex, while wonderful, is not only not everything, it is not nearly as important as you once thought it was."

Ha!!! Whatever. I think you're doing it wrong. And I'd love to hear your partner's opinion about this theory that sex is unimportant.

That's not called growing up. It's called losing interest.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:48 PM on March 28, 2003


I think the bottom line here is that what we (males) want are more CATFIGHTS!
posted by mischief at 12:49 PM on March 28, 2003


It's hard to top the best catfight ever here.

But feel free to try.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:54 PM on March 28, 2003


I have a vagina.
posted by jennyb at 12:56 PM on March 28, 2003


ditto jennyb's plumbing here... but what was the question again?
posted by taz at 1:00 PM on March 28, 2003


And I'd love to hear your partner's opinion about this theory that sex is unimportant.

Hey now - no one said "unimportant"... just not AS important, which is actually easy to imagine, as when I was 15 it was the most important thing in the universe, and my days revolved around my prospects for someday having some... nowadays it's only in the top five most important things in the universe, and the being married things takes a lot of the suspense angle out of whether or not I'll be getting any.*



*I won't.

posted by jonson at 1:04 PM on March 28, 2003


Another gal here.

I kinda like the Boyzone--it's diverting. I do, however, support the posting of more pictures of slippery men in undies.
posted by hippugeek at 1:11 PM on March 28, 2003


I only unite with other women when they let me be on top.
posted by oh posey at 1:13 PM on March 28, 2003


Wai. I always thought the great thing about metafilter was that I never had any clue about the person behind the member name so I never unconciously judged people based on anything but what they typed. All this 'outing' of gender is disconcerting. *runs away*
posted by puffin at 1:14 PM on March 28, 2003


That said..I am a girl and throughly agree with this:
I do, however, support the posting of more pictures of slippery men in undies.
posted by puffin at 1:17 PM on March 28, 2003


Don't worry, puffin; most of us are lying.
posted by taz at 1:18 PM on March 28, 2003


I have a vagina.
i need some vagina. perhaps we can come to arrive at a mutually satisfying agreeable arrangement?
posted by quonsar at 1:57 PM on March 28, 2003


Damn, why can't one find a tasteful 'man in panties' pic when one needs one?
posted by mischief at 1:57 PM on March 28, 2003


I've said it here before and I'll say it again.
posted by Lynsey at 2:02 PM on March 28, 2003


I'm rocking the double x
posted by Julnyes at 2:13 PM on March 28, 2003


I kinda like the Boyzone--it's diverting. I do, however, support the posting of more pictures of slippery men in undies.

I wholeheartedly agree.

And if it's not obvious from my name, I'm female.
posted by SuzySmith at 2:21 PM on March 28, 2003


By popular request: Whee! (Sort of safe for work? I dunno, I have no perspective.)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 2:30 PM on March 28, 2003


And I would, as they say, hit that.
posted by padraigin at 2:35 PM on March 28, 2003


Nuther gurl right here. I try to pretty the place up here with toys and fun in our time of global crisis. My gf wishes I'd pretty up the house instead. Women are just never satisfied......

And I think there should be more pictures of slippery and attractive individuals of all genders in their undies.
posted by answergrape at 2:41 PM on March 28, 2003


RJ that's just Alexis and Krystle in mandrag and YOU KNOW IT!!!
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:48 PM on March 28, 2003


Women are just never satisfied......

MetaFilter: What it sounds like when doves cry
posted by padraigin at 2:49 PM on March 28, 2003


okay, that's just the best tagline yet.
posted by taz at 2:52 PM on March 28, 2003


well, i have plenty of men in speedos for ya, but girl pics i don't have, unless Yolanda counts (potentially nsfw) : >
posted by amberglow at 2:53 PM on March 28, 2003


MetaFilter: What it sounds like when doves cry

That's IT! Talent....pure talent I tell you!
posted by answergrape at 3:07 PM on March 28, 2003


Another gal here... and one carrying an extra female in her uterus at that (in case we don't have enough).

Eh, I don't see that Metafilter is particularly boyzonish (not like, say, Fark). Of course, I avoid all war posts, so perhaps something is going on in there that I'm missing -- links to bomber pinups?

I keep getting the feeling that people bitch about Metafilter being a boyzone so as to out the women.

Well, here we are. Now what?
posted by meep at 3:21 PM on March 28, 2003


Undies? We don't need no undies! (Probably nsfw).
posted by homunculus at 3:23 PM on March 28, 2003


i can't stop thinking about that song... 'she's a lady!'

heh.

and answergrape, aren't you rocking it burque style? eat at golden pride for me.
posted by sugarfish at 3:31 PM on March 28, 2003


Jonson's got the 411 on my chromosomes, as well as an interesting fun fact about the ancestors who gave 'em to me.

For what it's worth, it's only the war that's made this place feel overwhelmingly like a boyzone to me lately.
posted by scody at 3:39 PM on March 28, 2003


Hell, I'm a woman and I like the atmosphere on MeFi. I don't have to sit with my knees together, speak softly, pretend to be demure, and avert my eyes. I say whatever the hell is on my mind in whatever language I want to, and I feel no need to bring any potted plants in to "civilize" the place.
posted by headspace at 4:00 PM on March 28, 2003


[this is good]

I know a number of women who have walked away from Metafilter, in part because it's a "boyzone". I'm happy to see the idea is being attacked head-on by the gender who are supposedly abandoning us.

Rather than "MetaFilter needs more women" maybe we're just too dense or insecure to notice them here among us.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:13 PM on March 28, 2003


a large part of our membership lead highly unsatisfactory sex lives - and make a point of sharing it here. Transparently

don't worry, Miguel, we like you anyway.
but thanks for sharing your problems with the community!
posted by matteo at 4:24 PM on March 28, 2003


Don't worry, matteo, Miguel wasn't talking about himself.
posted by languagehat at 5:40 PM on March 28, 2003


When the girls get here,
we'll talk about integrated circuits and things
To show them how smart we are.
We'll set our hair on fire
(that should impress them)
Spill beer all over our t-shirts
(accidentally)
We'll show them what kind of guys we are.

(The Young Fresh Fellows are the greatest band in history)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:02 PM on March 28, 2003


I wasn't talking about you or Matteo either, that's for sure. We have a standard little game here in Portugal, which we use to interpret everyone's actions and words. Specially politicians.

We divide the world into mal fodidos (literally "badly or insufficiently fucked", meaning "sex-starved") and bem fodidos (literally "well or sufficiently fucked", meaning "sex-sated").

Mal fodidos are anxious, assertive, negative, suspicious, fussy, complaining, anomic, cynical, compulsive, petty - and yet compassionate, understanding, acute, philosophical, funny - intelligent even.

Bem fodidos are lazy, jaded, devil-may-care, indifferent, smug, patronizing, annoying, selfish, narcissistic, somewhat anti-social, bored and not a little stupid - and yet cheerful, easygoing, satisfied, solid, trustworthy, empathetic and loyal.

Dichotomies: even "boys and girls" - you gotta love'em!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:05 PM on March 28, 2003


I thought this was chicks only.

Man, I'm outta here.
posted by Salmonberry at 6:07 PM on March 28, 2003


According to Miguel, every other Portu-geese word is about fucking.

How do you find the time to post?
posted by ColdChef at 6:28 PM on March 28, 2003


Another female answering role call - LOL. I don't really think of MeFi as a 'boyzone', but I might consider branching out with some more daring topics than what I usually consider for MeFi, just for fun. (Not that I've been posting much lately - LOL) I do consider MeFi to be a bit more... left-brained than some other sites, so topics that involve things like, say, psychic phenomena, aren't really as... expansive as they are in other places, but that's fine - it's just the MeFi flavor. And I don't consider that a male/female thing, just a thing. Heh.
posted by thunder at 6:39 PM on March 28, 2003


I think it's fairly obvious from my username what I am: a martian.

yay! and here I thought I was all alone on this weird planet.
posted by Mars Saxman at 6:51 PM on March 28, 2003


And I think there should be more pictures of slippery and attractive individuals of all genders in their undies.

Here's a start (check the URL before clicking).

Seriously, though - I'm surprised that "boyzone or no boyzone" is an open question among the XXs here. To me (and I won't state my gender, but with a name like Joy, what do you expect?) it's not so much that Metafilter is particularly boyzonesque as that it reflects the biases of society at large, which HELLO is one huge and intense boyzone. I admit that it's difficult to discern if you're part of the furniture, but come on, it's definitely there.
posted by soyjoy at 8:43 PM on March 28, 2003


I am cheerfully admitting ignorance here, but I don't really see what makes Metafilter a "boyzone"...nor do I understand what exactly women would do to make it less of one (or make it into a "girlzone.") Could someone elaborate?
posted by Vidiot at 8:58 PM on March 28, 2003


I do, however, support the posting of more pictures of slippery men in undies.

Here's a fine specimen.
posted by homunculus at 9:01 PM on March 28, 2003


Fashionably late to the thread...and not only am I a woman, but I've recently become a Mommy. :) I could make the area a little less testosterone laden by inserting baby pictures....

I'm kinda with Vidiot, not really sure why it matters that much. But, for those keeping score, yes, I was born with an innie.
posted by dejah420 at 10:48 PM on March 28, 2003


I am even later (and probably less fashionable) than dejah, but female nonetheless.
posted by picopebbles at 11:17 PM on March 28, 2003


Okay, here's a satisfy my curiosity even if it kills my cat question:

Are the charges of 'boyzone' around here partly because the wimminfolk don't identify themselves as such?
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:31 PM on March 28, 2003


*scratches, belches, checks shorts*
yep, still a girl.

Metafilter a "boyzone"? there is a strong whiff of testosterone, but i tend to "see" posters as androgynous unless i see a nickname that's obvious. of course, i have found out today that that isn't always correct. apologies to Mr. ..um.. Ms. ..er.. Thomas J Wise.
posted by deborah at 12:02 AM on March 29, 2003


XX here too. And, like konolia and madamejujujive, relatively older, as in "I saw Led Zeppelin in 1973", "I wore those ugly ass flare pants when they were first fashionable", and "I remember how the Sex Pistols were going to cause the downfall of Western civiliation" older.

Course I was just a wee sprog (okay, not by the time the Pistols showed up). But still definitely female, and have remained so.
posted by jokeefe at 12:54 AM on March 29, 2003


Stavros! You have excellent musical taste.

litlnemo: female. though the name is from a male comics character.
posted by litlnemo at 1:58 AM on March 29, 2003


Female person here too. But you knew that right?
posted by Tarrama at 2:42 AM on March 29, 2003


Why is it that when the subject of women comes up, then automatically the subject of sex also turns up? (Gee thanks, Miguel.)

Of course I should be grateful that piemaking and quilting are so far unmentioned.
posted by konolia at 3:52 AM on March 29, 2003


is entirely due to the fact that a large part of our membership lead highly unsatisfactory sex lives

that plus it being a boyzone were my first impressions of mefi 3 years ago and that hasn't changed to any great degree to this day. i don't mind tho' as it encourages me to disconnect from the 'net nearly every time i visit and being offline just gives me more opportunity to continue not being one of the sex starved, yay!

to be fair there is sufficient anti-boyzone boys to make it sort of balanced and even fun. shane's a great example of that.

As a woman, though, I've gotta wonder what we all share in common besides a chromosome?

well i'm sure we have loads in common when it comes to the generic girl's life details but other than that maybe nothing much. i rarely run into anyone, male or female, that has any of the big things in common with me... i sure do share your dislike of the whole daffy menstrual altar thing tho'.

oh yah, and i'm a girl. even if tracy is a british boys name. not that tracy is my real first name... but that doesn't change the fact that i'm a girl.
posted by t r a c y at 6:05 AM on March 29, 2003


**swing penis over head like lasso**

**bows**

**exit stage right**
posted by jonmc at 6:24 AM on March 29, 2003


Girl here. This place is fairly boyzone yes, but not as overtly so as other online forums. Here it's more undercover. It simmers below the surface and comes out in angry pseudo intellectual bs or vacuous comments like "I'd hit it". But it's true there are some really cool men here and yes we do love Shane at our house! :D So it's tolerable and, as Tracy says, we use our dislike of it to remind ourselves to not spend so much time online. So don't stop now!
posted by zarah at 6:31 AM on March 29, 2003


rare clip of jonmc in action? NSFW!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:37 AM on March 29, 2003


Boy here. Particularly.
posted by feelinglistless at 6:52 AM on March 29, 2003


Girlzone ♥ the jonmc.
posted by hama7 at 7:11 AM on March 29, 2003


I hereby declare madamjujujive "Queen of Finding Links to Animations of Men Doing Odd Things With Their Penises".

Long Live The Queen.
posted by iconomy at 7:58 AM on March 29, 2003


Jesus god, madamjujujive. There are some things you can't un-see...
posted by UKnowForKids at 9:20 AM on March 29, 2003


Of course I should be grateful that piemaking and quilting are so far unmentioned.

There are rules about that.
posted by homunculus at 9:58 AM on March 29, 2003


sex, while wonderful, is not only not everything, it is not nearly as important as you once thought it was

Ha!!! Whatever. I think you're doing it wrong.

The true test is to ask yourself: what would you rather do without, sex or Y? Would you rather have no sex, or no job? Would you rather have no sex, or no food? It becomes more interesting when you go outside the realm of survival: Would you rather have no sex, or no music? No sex, or no friends? No sex, or no children (assuming you already had them and then lost them somehow)? No sex, or no sight?

Using this test I have determined that MetaFilter is way less important to me than sex (whew!) but that there are still a surprising number of things more important to me than the rubbing of my dangly bits against someone else's slippery bits. It's an enlightening exercise; you'll be surprised at how tough some of the choices are.
posted by kindall at 11:38 AM on March 29, 2003


hi, I am a girl, but you knew that. I tried to register an extra MeFi nick that would be simply BOYZONEALARM. Its only post would be to say Aaaooooggga! when things got out of hand. I don't want to be in a Girlzone, I like the mixed company.

It's not really that hard to be openly female here so long as you like porn and don't care if people think you are a bitch, or fat, or a potential lay. If you think that these things are feminist issues [and I'm not saying they are, and I'm not saying they're not] then it's less fun to be here than someplace a bit more considerate and compassionate. There are some great female posters here, but yeah, it's a guyzone. It's a guyzone I like, but it's a guyzone. So?
posted by jessamyn at 12:08 PM on March 29, 2003 [1 favorite]


The revolution begins.
posted by konolia at 1:08 PM on March 29, 2003


The revolution begins.

*Looks for the one needle in the house to sow on buttons. Stabs herself repeatedly* Aargh. Quilts.
posted by ginz at 1:35 PM on March 29, 2003


Padraigin: "Nice Pussy Shot"

is that not boyzone enough for you?

btw, boyzone sounds like some cheesy british boyband
posted by Dreamghost at 4:13 PM on March 29, 2003


I was serious about my questions earlier, by the way...does anyone care to be more specific? Or do I have to know it to see it? (Or do I have to be a girl?)

And, I think it's strange that jessamyn says women have to "like porn and don't care if people think you are a bitch, or fat, or a potential lay" to fit in here. I wouldn't say that's the case at all.
posted by Vidiot at 6:44 PM on March 29, 2003


Vidiot: I think madamjujujive captured it pretty well above when she said: I really value some of the softer and sillier threads where people show more of their humanity and humor than many issues or news threads where people tend to posture. In my experience it's men who tend to posture that way, to state points so emphatically it's like trying to make their opponent say "Uncle," to insist on having the last word. Women (again in my experience) tend to be more accommodating, to leave room for the other person to find something to agree with, to find something to agree with in the other person's position, to keep a sense of perspective. Actually, I've been surprised how much of that stuff goes on here (people deciding they're not so diametrically opposed after all, even apologizing to each other), so maybe the gals are having a civilizing effect. Them and Miguel, who is so civilized he refrains from coshing me even when I thoroughly deserve it.
posted by languagehat at 7:31 PM on March 29, 2003


*waves* here's another girl, also classically late to a post.

My base perception of everyone I converse with online is that they're wholly androgynous, disembodied opinions attached in some sinuous fashion to the unidentified bag of water that spawned them. (This actually goes for both people I've never met and for people very close to me, even my own siblings. I find I interact with people online in a very, very different way that I do in person, because so many vital physical indicators just aren't there.)

Back to Mefi: It seems to me, that here the fellers are much more inclined to have gender-specific handles, make gender-specific comments, and in the most extreme cases go stomping around with an enormous siren blaring "I AM MAN!" via their behavior whether they realize it or not. (Although this is pretty heavily mired in my own biased views as to what "male" and "female" behavior is like, so likely unfair.)

Since I just assume neuter until clearly proven otherwise, I end up with the feeling that there are more guys than gals around. Simply because the guys are so much more explicit about which camp they're in. But really, it becomes irrelevant to me whether there are mostly guys or mostly girls, in the end all I care about is whether you sound intelligent and whether I want to debate anything with you!
posted by nelleish at 7:33 PM on March 29, 2003


xx all the way, here.
posted by ifjuly at 8:18 PM on March 29, 2003


I like girls.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:40 PM on March 29, 2003


like porn and don't care if people think you are a bitch, or fat, or a potential lay

at the risk of belaboring a point, I think I basically meant that a lot of fairly personal ribbing [some good natured, some not] goes on about those topics, so if you're sensitive about your weight, your attractiveness, or your popularity, it can be a tough place to be if you're less assertive, or just expecting an environment that is more supportive & less "what crawled up YOUR ass?!" confrontational. Now this may be just playing out tired female stereotypes, and many women here play against that type, but I know more than a few men who basically say "oh MetaFilter, yeah I love to go there and start shit" and I don't know any women that say that. The concept of getting online to start some shit just seems more antithetical to the female online communities that I know.

And by boyzone, the last popular thread on this topic sort of pulled some good posts: sex classes, gross-out cartoons, nerdish obsession, flimsy pretexts for nudity, and whiny self-pitying threads about failing manhood.
posted by jessamyn at 9:48 PM on March 29, 2003


Nice pussy shot

Heh. Ironically, that pussy's all boy, Dreamghost. His name is Craig, and he's currently sporting a green cast on his hind foot (a result of boyish highjinks).

Back on topic, I'm racking my brain to think of a really great, girlcentric post that will dazzle all of MeFi. This one won't have anything to do with Morrissey.
posted by padraigin at 9:58 PM on March 29, 2003


another girl here...most days this place feels fairly androgynous and some days it feels more boyzone-ish. girlzone-type stuff does happen once in awhile (see threads on knitting, quilting, and unauthorized internal exams).

That said, I've learned the genders of a few posters I didn't know before. When I'm not sure, I tend to think it's another boy. There's that assumption thing coming up again.
posted by melissa at 11:08 PM on March 29, 2003


as long as everybody is outing, uh,
my name is amber,
i'm 14 and i like older guys.
a/s/l? let's cyber!!!!!!
~~~== LOL ==~~~
posted by quonsar at 2:57 AM on March 30, 2003


I'd hit it!
posted by Tarrama at 4:14 AM on March 30, 2003


over the head with one of madamjujujive's pretty parasols.
posted by Tarrama at 4:18 AM on March 30, 2003


If I'm not mistaken, there are actually more girls than guys, in absolute terms (actually the increased prenatal androgen exposure involved for male development results in depressed immune function and higher infant mortality for males, so nature creates more of them; but I think the end result is less males surviving through infancy), also I think I heard more girls are college educated. This is interesting to me if we interpret it in the context of something such as MetaFilter, essentially a self-selected community built on nothing more than finding neat links and talking about them. Nothing inherently about gender to do with it, and yet look: overwhelmingly male. But think about it, there's nothing absurd about that; in fact people expect (by their own admissions) a male population as default! Can anyone imagine a similarly overwhelmingly female community forming by itself like this if it wasn't specifically predicated around being female or a specialized female interest?

Is this abstract sense of order and power we know as "the patriarchy" something that arises inevitably? Is there something unique about the nature of men (in the broad statistical sense) that drives them towards action, discovery, and involvement that can inform us about their supposed role in things relative towards women? Or is this all an illusion or an accident of history, that enforces itself culturally?

How's that for "BoyZone"? ;)

PS- I didn't mean that as a troll, that's why I phrased it in the form of questions. I assume its alright to ask questions about human nature in good faith.
posted by dgaicun at 6:00 AM on March 30, 2003


Is there something unique about the nature of men (in the broad statistical sense) that drives them towards action, discovery, and involvement that can inform us about their supposed role in things relative towards women?

Yeah, actually, the fact they were the hunters in the vast majority of the hunter-gatherer societies that utlimately lead to the development of civilization. There is, however, some debate that the invention of language started with the settled communes of women and their children where men only visited infreuqently in order to exchange food (meat) for sex.

Guys ran around in hunter bands, which is where you get the development of dominance and posturing and certian aspects of "male bonding" that still go on today. Women moved toward settlement, gathered fruits (in some places they set traps), invented cooking, made things, and raised the kids. They needed language to bind them together because they weren't wrestling lions in groups.

I honestly think that most of the notable difference between male and femle behavior stems from the cultural evolution that took place all those thousands of years ago. Maybe this is still why today, not only do more girls survive infancy than boys, they also ususally learn to talk and mature mentally much faster than boys who are busy developing physically. Hence, the modern trend toward more women being college educated (my university is actually 70-30 split, and its an aggie school!) once society started letting them into the realms of higher learning

By golly I love anthroplogy. I do apologize for the vast off-topic-ness that was this post.
posted by nelleish at 8:32 AM on March 30, 2003


Can anyone imagine a similarly overwhelmingly female community forming by itself like this if it wasn't specifically predicated around being female or a specialized female interest

I can, actually. I'm a moderator on a literary mailing list of just under 1000 members, and our membership is predominantly female.
posted by eilatan at 10:07 AM on March 30, 2003


Guys ran around in hunter bands, which is where you get the development of dominance and posturing and certian aspects of "male bonding" that still go on today . . .

. . . cultural evolution that took place all those thousands of years ago.


Thousands of years ago? By now, shouldn't we have evolved past the need for dominance/subordination, posturing, pack-behavior, persecution of those perceived as "weak" and of those perceived as rivals?

Uh, that's a rhetorical question.

Competition and rivalry amongst the endless fields of the internet usually gets to me. There's plenty enough for all.

I agree that much of modern behavior is left over from the survival instincts of the past. But such behavior appears absurd when there's no longer any need for it.

I'm not singling out Metafilter for this behavior although, when it does occur here, it's automatically more incongruous than it would be, say, where I live in Ohio.
posted by Shane at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2003


*scratches, belches, flings poo at shane.*
posted by quonsar at 10:38 AM on March 30, 2003


As a lit major, I've noticed that my classmates are predominantly female. Given the proliferation of net access across various demographics, it makes sense to me that a literature mailing list would be predominantly female as well.

And then there's the Oprah Book Club...
posted by DaShiv at 10:44 AM on March 30, 2003


*scratches, belches, flings poo at shane.*

Flings poo back as usual, despite recent posturing about un-evolved behavior.
posted by Shane at 10:55 AM on March 30, 2003


*gets caught in the crossfire*
posted by DaShiv at 11:07 AM on March 30, 2003


I'm female, and Metafilter seems to be a bit of a boyzone. However, I think it's far more of a geek zone than anything else.
posted by stoneegg21 at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2003


I think it's just the internet is still a bit of a boyzone. Also, metafilter at least began as a place with a technology / toys bent, plus the founder is male. If it'd been put together by a woman & had a focus towards arts & culture, it might be more even...

I'm in grad school, which is surely as focused toward "action, discovery & involvement" as a community website, and we have a pretty even gender divide. As a sort of cultural phenomenon, you usually hear of book clubs as more likely to be something women do than something men do (men are more likely to get together for sports events). So that seems to be community involvement not specifically about being female, but still ending up with stronger female interest.

I'm another androgynously named female participant around these parts, by the way. Seems to me the best content & comments don't lean toward either sex (that is, you could imagine it being posted by a person of either)
posted by mdn at 1:57 PM on March 30, 2003


Guys ran around in hunter bands, which is where you get the development of dominance and posturing and certian aspects of "male bonding" that still go on today . . .

It just occurred to me that competitive male behavior can alternatively be explained by good ol' cigar-chomping Freud. Not that I buy into his theories as applied to the entire populace, but they definitely seem relevent part of the time.
posted by Shane at 6:48 PM on March 30, 2003


Can I get any XX's (or maybe WolfDaddy) to join w/ me into trying to make this into a Boizone, if you na'aymsain? Bow chikka wang wang ...
posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:47 PM on March 30, 2003


I CCL who's a girl and who's a boy for the most part, until you get to the feminist threads where the lack of insight and support from normally left-leaning contributors is pretty disturbing.
posted by Summer at 5:31 AM on March 31, 2003


until you get to the feminist threads where the lack of insight and support from normally left-leaning contributors is pretty disturbing.

Examples please.
posted by dgaicun at 7:30 AM on March 31, 2003


For starters, dgaicun. If you want to spare yourself a harrowing read, this is that thread in precis --

Man: Hey! Look at this cool site that encourages women to stand up to the men who harass them on the street!
A Few Women: Wow! That's cool! I get harassed all the time!
A Woman: I don't have a problem with harassment.
Some Men: Yeah, these bitches need to shut up and deal, and stop trying to abridge our free speech!

Ugliness ensues. Yuck.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:55 AM on March 31, 2003


Thanks grrarrgh00, that's definitely one of the threads I was thinking of. I also remember debating with someone who thought feminist and chauvinist were equivalent terms but I can't remember which thread it was.
posted by Summer at 8:06 AM on March 31, 2003


CCL? could care less? well, i guess i can go back to work now, i've learned my something new at metafilter for today.
posted by danOstuporStar at 8:30 AM on March 31, 2003


(Sigh) late to the roll call--I try and stay off the 'net on weekends. +1f here.

Is the place a boyzone? Generally, I'd say yes, but avoidably so--most posters seem good about NSFWing or otherwise being very direct about the T&A nature of some of their links.

That said, there are exceptions where even a sheep not looking for trouble can get her wool ruffled. The thread that grrarrgh00 linked was a prime example. Doesn't seem to come up very often, though, and isn't a real deterrent.

And appropos of nothing: I'm glad to not only self-identify as female, but as a feminist. Yep, it's a movement with a wacko fringe, just like EVERY OTHER MOVEMENT. And despite the fact that it makes an easy, fun target for insults, it's that "scary, militant, strident" feminist movement that helped to make it possible for women to speak in public, vote, work outside the home, get paid decent wages regardless of genitalia, and have access to means to proactively manage our reproduction.

...Just call me Ms. Sheep.
posted by clever sheep at 8:41 AM on March 31, 2003


Also XX. I agree with Summer, but I haven't been able to dig up the specific thread I remember--something about a cheatin' woman, and several of the comments were Extremely hostile. That was an unusual thread, though. (Hear, hear, Ms. Sheep.)
posted by win_k at 11:44 AM on March 31, 2003


just curious re: Boizone

a friend of mine used that spelling the other (week? month?) to refer to trannie FTMs - though maybe he meant it to have a broader meaning, just any kind of queer or fringy boy-type... I'd never come across it before though - where'd you first see it?
posted by mdn at 12:49 PM on March 31, 2003


look, can you keep quiet ?
im trying to read the newspaper.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:39 PM on March 31, 2003


grrarrgh00, I am comfortable with my comments in that thread, then and now.
posted by NortonDC at 4:17 PM on March 31, 2003


*watches football*
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:49 PM on April 1, 2003


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