"Wow, look at the Boobies!" July 10, 2008 12:22 PM   Subscribe

How is this not a "Boyzone" post?

Its an honest question. With all the talk about "Boyzone" around here, I'm wondering what it is about this post that makes it ok when the community has had such long and involved conversations about "Boyzone" and sexism on Metafilter.

I, personally, have no strong feelings one way or another (I can't click the link from work), but have heard from a couple of folks today who do.

So, I'm asking: What makes this a good Metafilter post?
posted by anastasiav to Etiquette/Policy at 12:22 PM (370 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I dunno. What is "boyzone"? Is any reference to or depiction of a woman's genitals or secondary sexual characteristics necessarily "boyzone"? Where is the line drawn? I mean, it's goofy, and it has pictures of breasts–but I'm having a hard time seeing the harm in it.
posted by Mister_A at 12:26 PM on July 10, 2008


That shit is more like "Dumbzone."
posted by The Straightener at 12:27 PM on July 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


I think there are just too many community members who want it to be boyzone here. There are some fabulous people on Metafilter who speak up against boyzone crap, and who choose to be both inclusive of and respectful towards everyone, but apparently there aren't enough of these gems.

Maybe someday it won't be OK, but my hope is dissolving more each day.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:28 PM on July 10, 2008


It's actually more of a memepool-nostalgia zone.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:30 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


How is this not a "Boyzone" post?

What if they're pictures of, er, plumper gentlemen?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:32 PM on July 10, 2008


I think "can you tell unenhanced breasts from enhanced breasts" is an interesting question. I am at work, and so I haven't read the thread, but if there isn't a lot of "OMG boobz, ha ha women are sex objects" going on, then I am reluctant to say that the fact that that link is an FPP is, in and of itself, creating a hostile environment for women on MeFi.
posted by prefpara at 12:33 PM on July 10, 2008


I think there are just too many community members who want it to be boyzone here.

I think there are just too many community members who define any reference to female anatomy whatsoever to be boyzone. How can this site be about best of the web if boobies are completely verboten? (Note: I didn't say that site is best of the web.)
posted by danOstuporStar at 12:35 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Would it be "girlzone" if it showed two sets of heads and asked which one was the toupee?
posted by smackfu at 12:36 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I, personally, have no strong feelings one way or another (I can't click the link from work),

Also, I wish people would leave the MetaTalk posts to people who actually care enough to post themselves.
posted by smackfu at 12:37 PM on July 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


Is any reference to or depiction of a woman's genitals or secondary sexual characteristics necessarily "boyzone"?

Not necessarily. However, the post isn't a "reference" to women's "secondary sexual characteristics". It's a link to a site that exclusively displays women's breasts. It's is pretty much the dictionary definition of boyzone.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:38 PM on July 10, 2008


It's is pretty much the dictionary definition of boyzone.

Well, not exactly:

Boyzone is a popular Irish boy band of the 1990s that reformed in 2007. They had major success in the UK and Ireland and differing levels of success in parts of Europe and Asia with six #1 hit singles in the UK. By 2007 they had sold over 15 million records.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:40 PM on July 10, 2008 [16 favorites]


It's pretty much a terrible post on multiple axes. It's not interesting, it's arguably sexist, and it's old news. I just figure not_on_display is exploring the limits of what he can post, and maybe trying to see whether he has any special privileges here....
posted by dersins at 12:41 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a link to a site that exclusively displays women's breasts. It's is pretty much the dictionary definition of boyzone.

Even if the site does not display them gratuitously? The quiz format is, um, irreverent at best, but I can imagine a website with a more restrained presentation of the same basic question. So, for example, would a website that simply posted pictures of enhanced and unenhanced breasts in order to demonstrate the visible differences (or lack thereof) make for a "boyzone" FPP?
posted by prefpara at 12:43 PM on July 10, 2008


I can imagine it being a worthwhile post if there was some context. There are pictures of boobies all over the Web, some simply medical, some on sites meant for women, some on clothing sites, and some, like this, that are just meant for leering at. If the post was "Here's the boobies on thew Web, and look how different Web sites address this part of the anatomy, and look how strange and varied our cultural understand of breasts is," then I expect people wouldn't have responded as badly.

Instead, it's essentiall a nudge and a snicker, and that does feel sort of boyzone to me, even if I nonetheless plan to check out the site when I get home.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:44 PM on July 10, 2008


What we need is some Dogzone where you have to figure out which are the Neuticals and which are the real low hangers.
posted by The Straightener at 12:44 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Boyzone" isn't in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary. Perhaps this discussion would be more likely to go well if you define what you mean by "boyzone" and why it should be banned from Metafilter? The word obviously means something to you, but it might well mean something different to other people—and certainly means nothing to me—so there is a real danger of mutual misunderstanding.
posted by nowonmai at 12:47 PM on July 10, 2008


"Boizone" means something else entirely at the Mine Shaft on Tuesday nights.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:49 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's a matter of degree. A post such as that once in a while is not, in itself, bz. As part of a persistent pattern that is crossed into over some shifting, amorphous threshold, it may be. Flag it and move on.

Personally, I think claims of bz are better supported by analysing the discussion around links of all kinds moreso than the links themselves.

(I refuse to preview).
posted by mimo at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2008


the Boyzone Ivy
you stepped in it
posted by grobstein at 12:51 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fact is, many women have had their breasts augmented surgically, usually for reasons of vanity or commerce, and I think it's OK to poke a little fun at the practice.

And can we drop the "boyzone" bullshit? Say "sexist" if that's what you mean.
posted by Mister_A at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


Equal time.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2008


It's pretty boyzone, where boys=13 year olds who like to snicker. Or at least I think it is, since I didn't click the link, assuming that it was probably not long enough to read. But, you know, whatever. It may not be best of the web but an argument could be made for it being classic of the web or something. My outrage meter is dialed way down lately - neither cunts nor twats nor boobs can really stir it up.

The memepool nostalgia in the ensuing thread, though, is kind of cool and maybe we should have a meta thread about memepool instead.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:52 PM on July 10, 2008


nowonmai: See here. Also here. Its even on the Mefi Wiki. We've talked a lot about it here already. Perhaps reading those older posts will help you understand the context.
posted by anastasiav at 12:53 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Beans.
posted by spicynuts at 12:55 PM on July 10, 2008


Ironically, pointing out that single post gets it way more attention than it would have gotten otherwise.
posted by smackfu at 12:55 PM on July 10, 2008


Boyzone boyzone boyzone boyzone? Boyzone, boyzone boyzone boyzone boyzone boyzone boyzone. Boyzone! Boyzone: boyzone, boyzone, boyzone, boyzone, boyzone. Boyzone? Boyzone. Boyzone, boyzone.

Boyzone, boyzone, boyzone.

Boyzone.
posted by kbanas at 12:55 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]




I didn't read the post because I knew it wouldn't interest me, but I'm not offended that it's there. I trust the admins' judgment, and I figure if they didn't delete it, it must have some modicum of merit as a post.

If boys (or girls) want to look at boobies that's their prerogative. Metafilter has plenty of room for all kinds of posts, and we as members are free to pick and choose which ones we read and click through. Yes, we're a community, but we can't please everyone all of the time and we can't guarantee that no one will ever be offended by something.

I think of individual posts and their resulting threads as pockets of conversation in a large meeting room. If you don't like the conversation taking place in one spot, you can wander around and find a conversation you do like. If a particular group of people are standing around talking about boobies, the rest of us can talk about something else, but it doesn't serve any purpose to tell the boobie-talkers "You can't talk about that!"

Also, boobie talk isn't exclusive to "boyzone" behavior. I'm a woman, and I can attest to the fact that women talk about boobies, and snark about "real vs. fake," just as much as men do.
posted by amyms at 1:00 PM on July 10, 2008 [19 favorites]


Also, I'd like to point out how the site in question was recontextualized in the mefi fpp compared to the memepool post. On mempool, the post is about the guy who created Solitaire who also happens to express some admiration for this silly boob site.

But here, the focus of the fpp is the boob site, and the programmer's admiration is provided as an endorsement of it.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:01 PM on July 10, 2008


Boobies!
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:02 PM on July 10, 2008


My feeling was that it was a riff on hot-or-not, marginally amusing, and had a bunch of people saying "awwww" about memepool which was probably the best thing about it. The thread did not devolve into stupid sexist nonsense, imo, which made me happy. For a site that's made up of mostly men, most of whom have at least some sensibility that the site is not ONLY men, I thought that post was clearly marked for what it was, not sneering in tone and didn't spawn a toxic thread. It wasn't flagged terribly much, though it was flagged some.

Also, I have no perspective. Perhaps the fellas want to chime in here?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:05 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


For a place that claims to be The Best of the Web the ratio of boob posts to non-boob posts is surprisingly low, considering this is the internet and all.

Do we have to do this every time there’s a boob post? Can we not just accept that for every Star Wars and Tron we’re gonna have a Porky’s once in a while? Is that not ok? Some people like boobs, occasionally we’re gonna talk about them and look at them and, some day, if Ray Kurzweil is correct, we’re gonna get to see ‘em jiggle in 3D right on our holographic iPhones and we don’t need an OMG BOYZONE! every goddamn time. Of course we don’t want Metafilter to become Maxim Magazine but one boob-related post every couple of weeks does not mean we’re a boyzone. Some times there’s posts that only interest New Yorkers, or animal lovers, or animal lovers from New York. That doesn’t turn us into NewYorkAnimalLoverZone.

The next time there’s a kitten-related Metafilter post I’m gonna complain about it. Not because I’ll have strong feelings, but because somebody else might and I just wanna make a call-out because, well, I have no idea. Because it’s something That Must be Done, I guess. Because we gotta complain about every goddamn thing here.

Then again, Mr. on_display gets special treatment from me 'cause our parents once watched the same boring episode of The Tonight Show. But not together, 'cuz that'd be gross.
posted by bondcliff at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2008 [14 favorites]


Frankly, "best of the web" is easy to misread as "breast of the web."

I'm all for flagging on moving on. "Sexism" is a flagging option, and the mods can decide if they agree.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2008


I'm a woman, I played, I commented in the thread and I didn't think it was anywhere near The Best of the Web. Entertaining though, so what's the big deal? Boyzone, shmoyzone.
posted by sunshinesky at 1:16 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Perhaps the fellas want to chime in here?

As a gay man, it's not the boyzone I was hoping for.
posted by ericb at 1:19 PM on July 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


Butt, Dave Faris' 'Equal time' post (above) makes up for it!
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on July 10, 2008


I'm just amazed it was not a double post. (No pun intended)
posted by marxchivist at 1:27 PM on July 10, 2008


Here's a simple definition for y'all:

Boyzone - community behavior which discourages female participation in the site.

There. Now you can argue about that instead of the merit of the post.
posted by team lowkey at 1:27 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Definately not a post to get worked up about, not that that will stop anybody.

Perhaps we should be grateful that all the metatak threads these days are being made by people with no strong feelings either way. Might at least stop any account closing this time.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 1:29 PM on July 10, 2008


The memepool nostalgia in the ensuing thread, though, is kind of cool

Yeah, I went into the thread all prepared to be outraged, but the fact that it quickly mutated into a memepool thread reassured and amused me. We've come a long way, baby person!
posted by languagehat at 1:30 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, it is not a boyzone post. That thought didn't even occur me.

How sexist are you to assume that a post about boobs is strictly for guys?
posted by frecklefaerie at 1:31 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Also, to expand on my non-hatred for the post. If you spend some time clicking around the fakeornot site, it's just photos of all sorts of breasts. Some are ripped form porno-looking stuff, but a lot are just sort of ... normal looking breasts. So while I'm sure there's an angle whereby every site that has naked photos of breasts that isn't explicitly about cancer or nudism or something is just a played-for-the-lulz site that is disrespectful of women, I'm not feeling particularly angsty about this one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:33 PM on July 10, 2008


Accusations of "Boyzone" are the new steampunk.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


All this outrage is so UNBELIEVABLY tiresome.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:36 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Boobies!
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:02 PM on July 10 [+] [!]


I will never get sick of clicking on random "boobies" link and finding myself looking at a pair of Blue Footed Boobies. Their feet are so blue! Look at those silly feet!

In related news, great tits.
posted by nanojath at 1:37 PM on July 10, 2008


Thanks anastasiav; the previous threads generated more heat than light and I couldn't always be sure what people were talking about, (also, tl;dr) but the wiki page is nice and clear! My feelings on the issues you raise are as follows:

On preview: lengthy analysis with no firm conclusion deleted. In summary: yes the post is boyzone; I don't think that the occasional post like this makes MeFi as a whole a boyzone. I have faith in the admins' ability to balance content and am sure that any further posts about breasts in the next few days will have to be of exceptional quality to survive the delete button.
posted by nowonmai at 1:37 PM on July 10, 2008


Accusations of "Boyzone" are the new steampunk.

Seriously, this is so last season, you guys.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:38 PM on July 10, 2008


Also, I wish people would leave the MetaTalk posts to people who actually care enough to post themselves.
posted by smackfu at 3:37 PM on July 10 [3 favorites +] [!]


Are you kidding? Anastasiav has 200 of Metafilter's finest posts. She is a meta-goddess.
posted by caddis at 1:38 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I meant MetaTalk posts. If you don't care strongly about it, don't post it to MetaTalk.
posted by smackfu at 1:42 PM on July 10, 2008


You're not rating the girls' racks. It's a guessing game (an easy one).

There's nothing sexist abou tit. Yes, I did that on purpose.
posted by Zambrano at 1:51 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is there a site where we get to guess if the "dick" in the porn is real and attached to the actor, photoshopped, or some kind of huge dildo? I'm sure there must be.
posted by kosem at 1:54 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


This post did offend me today. I saw it and the gleeful comments of men (and women, but mostly men) gawking at women's parts, and I just thought, do we really need to do this here? I commented and I flagged, but didn't go any further.

It is hard for me to explain my offense, because this sort of behavior is so accepted on places where geeks go on the internet. We associate male geeks and the Internet with some amount of female nudity. That's how our culture is now. Y'all think I'm overreacting and oversensitive to balk at seeing it here, because it's everywhere. People just seem to accept that it's okay to objectify women like this on the Internet.

But on the other hand, I think of all the places and professions where this sort of thing used to be accepted, and isn't anymore because the law said "wait a minute; this is wrong."

* EEOC v. Farmer Bros (1994) - Supervisor made foul comments about female employees including the size of their breasts.
* Lipsett v. University of Puerto Rico (1988) -- Playboy centerfolds in school dining hall and meeting rooms.
* Robinson v. Jacksonville Shipyards (1991) -- "Extensive, pervasive posting of pictures depicting nude women, partially nude women [and] sexual conduct."

I think it will be a long time, or never, before any such legal forays are made in Internet communities. But just because the objectification of women is everywhere on the Internet doesn't make it okay.

I saw this post today, and the comments of the guys who loved the site and were noting with glee their success at judging women's anatomies, and I thought, are we really doing this here? Is that what my gender is reduced to here -- a naked torso to be judged as authentic or augmented? It icked me out. Maybe the fun of the game is more important than random women in the minority being icked out. Fine. I just wanted to explain my point of view.
posted by onlyconnect at 1:59 PM on July 10, 2008 [25 favorites]


Is that what my gender is reduced to here

No, thats the point. Its oone post. One that isn't pure objectification.

That does not in any way define the role or the opinion of women on this site.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 2:02 PM on July 10, 2008


I think we should let boyzones be boyzones.
posted by kate blank at 2:07 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Uhm.... anyone that really thinks that the MeFi environment "discourages female participation" needs to get out more. Try hanging at Digg for a while. (While I like the links found at Digg, most of the time, reading the comments makes my blood boil. Too often.)

Anyway, I didn't find it offensive in the least. And I don't think it's a site that would only provide entertainment for straight men. It's *dumb* entertainment, but still kinda entertaining.
posted by INTPLibrarian at 2:09 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, I'm asking: What makes this a good Metafilter post?

It was mildly amusing 5 minute diversion. It didn't strike me, as a guy, as offensive to women, and it fact some of female friends would probably be interested in looking at it, just for the 5 minute diversion.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:11 PM on July 10, 2008


Don't know about boyzone but it sure has my vote for lamezone or stupidzone and I would have thought merited the hook for that reason alone. Don't we still at least aim for "best of web" stuff? It was so weak that people deviated into an entirely different discussion and are justifying the post for the via. Um, not_on_display, I usually always like your posts, guy, but I gotta say this was not your finest moment.

And can we drop the "boyzone" bullshit? Say "sexist" if that's what you mean.

I see "boyzone" as being a less mean-spirited and more unconscious thing than out-and-out sexism and so if I have used that term, that's what I have meant. It's when a group of guys get together and start acting and talking like some young guys might when there are no women present. First it's a simple little exercise in lighting farts, then the girlie mags get broken out and suddenly it's a circle jerk. And I am like, oops, this is not my beautiful house, where's the exit?
posted by madamjujujive at 2:13 PM on July 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


Well at least we found someone who's actually offended by the post... I was worried this was going to fizzle out.
posted by smackfu at 2:14 PM on July 10, 2008


Tits without a face.
Such a MeFi waste
You're tits without a face.

Sorry, just had that come from nowhere. Yeah, it was just kind of lame independent of any sexist connotations. Ze bar, it should be kept high, ya?
posted by Burhanistan at 2:17 PM on July 10, 2008


Zambrano: You're not rating the girls' racks. It's a guessing game (an easy one).

If you want to argue that a binary fake-or-not score is different than a 1-10 subjective tit-appreciation score, fine, I guess.

But your "I'll give you something to really complain about" potshot at the end was pretty uncalled-for.
posted by CKmtl at 2:17 PM on July 10, 2008


Boyzone absolutely.

Also depressing, degraded, and insipid.

Boyzone appears to be almost incurable, however, and is evidently prone to frequent outbreaks. And while not fatal, it is disfiguring.

If MetaFilter were a person, it would have a lot of trouble getting laid.
posted by jamjam at 2:21 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


First it's a simple little exercise in lighting farts, then the girlie mags get broken out and suddenly it's a circle jerk.

Is it still a boyzone if males over the age of 40 do something similar?

Is a boyzone always a negative thing?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:22 PM on July 10, 2008


onlyconnect writes "This post did offend me today. I saw it and the gleeful comments of men (and women, but mostly men) gawking at women's parts, and I just thought, do we really need to do this here?"

Even if people were "gawking" (I didn't see anything like that though it might have been deleted I suppose, jessamyn's comment comes closest) this post doesn't make MetaFilter a BoyZone anymore than the Louvre is a BoyZone because it has the occasional painting of naked women that people gawk at.
posted by Mitheral at 2:22 PM on July 10, 2008


Also, I have no perspective.

Yeah, that was sort of my point in the second half of this comment...
posted by dersins at 2:25 PM on July 10, 2008


boyzone always a negative thing?

Apparently it made a bunch of people leave. Judging by the remaining people who get het up about it that's probably a major plus for it.
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on July 10, 2008


Pretty harsh, Artw. I'd like to see as many viewpoints here as possible, especially folks I disagree with.
posted by danOstuporStar at 2:30 PM on July 10, 2008


Judging by the remaining people who get het up about it that's probably a major plus for it.

Totally boorish. Can we please not do this here?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:31 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sorry, I've got a short temper with the shame-police at the moment.
posted by Artw at 2:33 PM on July 10, 2008


the comments of the guys who loved the site and were noting with glee their success at judging women's anatomies

I just reread the thread and saw only one or two comments that might be construed as such. Did a whole bunch get deleted?
posted by oneirodynia at 2:37 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought it was fun, if a bit silly. I'm not seeing how female breasts equate with sexism.

But then again, what do I know, I'm the European admin. I see many more breasts than this on a trip to the beach. And I'm sure everyone there is also wondering "real or fake"??
posted by vacapinta at 2:38 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Judging by the remaining people who get het up about it that's probably a major plus for it.

Yikes. Just yikes.
posted by madamjujujive at 2:39 PM on July 10, 2008


I just reread the thread and saw only one or two comments that might be construed as such. Did a whole bunch get deleted?

No. I don't think I deleted anything from that thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:46 PM on July 10, 2008


Don't know about boyzone but it sure has my vote for lamezone or stupidzone and I would have thought merited the hook for that reason alone. Don't we still at least aim for "best of web" stuff?

It felt like kind of a coin-flip post to me, honestly; I think we could have defensibly deleted it on a "not great" basis, but I'd say the same for a number of other things we've let stand too in the name of not being overly slash-and-burn about the front page. Dumb silly stuff has always been part of the mix here, and likely always will be.

Basically, not a great post by any means but not really anything like beyond the pale either. A little of the conversation in the thread made me groan a bit and partly regret not nuking it after all, but there was also this nice blossoming of memepool nostalgia and an overall lack of nastiness.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:47 PM on July 10, 2008


Jesus, Artw.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:48 PM on July 10, 2008


Yes, MeFi is often quite sexist. The post in question didn't trigger any outrage in me. But I may have outrage fatigue. This thread, however, is pretty annoying. Lots of "Oh, feminism, how tiresome".
posted by theora55 at 2:57 PM on July 10, 2008 [18 favorites]


I'm wondering what it is about this post that makes it ok

That fact that it's a single isolated post. This community is not just for boys, but it doesn't seek to exclude boys either.

"Boyzone" becomes a problem when it's repeated and pervasive behavior. If you'll be offended by the occasional presence of boys, you will not enjoy Metafilter.
posted by tkolar at 2:58 PM on July 10, 2008


USA! USA! USA!
posted by bardic at 3:07 PM on July 10, 2008


MORE LIKE POOPY-HEAD-ZONE AMIRITE?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:08 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh. This post didn't offend me at all -- I thought it was a little silly, and not as skeezy as I expected. Also, I'm pretty good at judging real vs fake breasts.
posted by desuetude at 3:09 PM on July 10, 2008


I've definitely been on the "boo I spot questionable boyzoning!" side, but I don't really think this is. As a woman, I found it mildly interesting. Not "best of the web" but it didn't make me uncomfortable because woman's bodies don't make me uncomfortable and that's really all this was.

Now, if it were a bunch of porno pictures, or a "rate these chicks!" website, I'd be put off. But it wasn't.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 3:14 PM on July 10, 2008


never used baby shoes : Boobies!

nanojath : great tits.

Just to balance things out here, I'm going to link to a giant black cock.
posted by quin at 3:14 PM on July 10, 2008


So...wait...people are shocked that guys like breasts?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:15 PM on July 10, 2008


I am too sick of the boobie posts...

Can someone find a "rate my vagina" kind of site? Rate the tightness, size of clit, coloration, overall attractiveness 1-10. Poor pussies must be jealous of all the attention that titties get.
posted by sixcolors at 3:24 PM on July 10, 2008


theora55 writes 'This thread, however, is pretty annoying. Lots of "Oh, feminism, how tiresome".'

I think it's the endless, repetitive discussion of whether or not there's a sexist atmosphere at MetaFilter that folk are finding tiresome.
posted by jack_mo at 3:24 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


It got deleted due to being described as "safe for work".
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on July 10, 2008


I think it's the endless, repetitive discussion of whether or not there's a sexist atmosphere at MetaFilter that folk are finding tiresome.

Yeah, if only those damn women would shut up and let the real people talk in whatever way comes naturally.
posted by languagehat at 3:28 PM on July 10, 2008 [27 favorites]


I am oppressing them with my words RIGHT NOW.
posted by Artw at 3:30 PM on July 10, 2008


"I, personally, have no strong feelings one way or another"

Sorry, but you're being disingenuous here. Regardless of the post if you had no strong feelings you wouldn't have posted to MeTa. I can see the point, but at least have the moral courage to step up to the plate.
posted by panboi at 3:37 PM on July 10, 2008


breasts != boyzone

The site didn't seem disrespectful towards women. I say let it stand. No reason to be Puritans.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:37 PM on July 10, 2008


Blurgh.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:37 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Text of the post in question: "Fake or Not? The site will show you ten pictures of boobies, a pair at a time. You must determine whether or not they are augmented. Wes Cherry, creator of Solitaire for Windows, aptly cites it as one of his three favorite websites"

Where are we finding the sexism here? Sorry, I refuse to use the word boyzone, not only is that the name of a band it also belittles the concept that we could ever call out something as sexist and have a legit case. Words can matter - so let's 86 this stupid boyzone crap. Or not, that's just my opinion of it.

Anyway I'm not finding anything wildly offensive in the original post itself. Since the beginning of time males have observed women's breasts - and other women have as well, let's not be sexist and assume only males derive pleasure from this. Sure this post isn't the same as observing the breast in Greek and Roman statuary - but then we live in a culture where women are repeatedly turning to plastic sugery for breast enlargement, and not everyone believes that it's the evil male culture that forces them to do so. I also don't think that all women mind or should be protected from breast oogling - by male or female viewers - as long as it's consentual. Some women enjoy this kind of thing, and far be it for me to mess with anyone's idea of fun. Plus I tend to shy away from folks who want to make the simple act of looking a crime. They make me nervous.

As a woman, and one who attended a Seven Sisters college and dealt with feminist theory in media classes in grad school, the original post didn't scream "offensive sexism" to me. I didn't read the comments as I was pretty sure what would go on there and avoid the thread - and plus I've not set myself up as culture police here. If there was offense? A simple flag of a comment or post generally does the trick. Here's the thing - I'm a feminist. That doesn't mean I have to agree with all feminist theory, or everyone else who calls themselves a feminist. So for my call - nothing outrageous here. I'm sure some will disagree.

Part of the recent criticism of sexism at MeFi went on the assumption that the moderators here don't do anything to monitor content for that issue, and that the majority of the members here are both male and misogynist. That's not the case. And from what I've seen of the moderators at work - I'll trust their judgement.
But they're not censors, nor do we want them to be.
posted by batgrlHG at 3:39 PM on July 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


Oh and I didn't even look into whether the linked sites are sexist/misogynist. That's a whole different kettle of fish if we're to say that no one can link to anything objectionable elsewhere. How are we supposed to critique anything if we can't cite the stuff?
posted by batgrlHG at 3:41 PM on July 10, 2008


I guess the post just reminds me of things like those photography magazines that are ostensibly about, y'know, photography, but are really about looking at ladies in assorted levels of undress. Because, hey, that's what women's bodies are there for--gazing, amirite? I mean that's why it's about real v. fake breasts, rather than, I dunno, real hair vs. plugs on men.

I'd love it if women's bodies weren't so fucking sexualized. It'd make my day a lot easier when I'm outside walking around minding my own business and getting the occasional catcall. It's all the same shit. So yeah, the post squicked me out for those reasons. And really, I could give a fuck if that makes me humorless or uptight. I'm sick of the dismissive attitude that rears its head every time someone brings this up on here.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 3:49 PM on July 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


Um, erogenous zones are sexualized by default, not by committee.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:52 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


languagehat writes 'Yeah, if only those damn women would shut up and let the real people talk in whatever way comes naturally.'

Oh, come on languagehat, you know that's not what I meant. It just seems that, after the many (useful, valuable, enlightening) discussions on this topic to date, there's little to be gained by another thousand-odd comments on the same topic. Unless there are lots of new MetaTalk readers who might modify their behaviour in the way that many did after the sexism megathreads a while ago, I suppose.
posted by jack_mo at 3:53 PM on July 10, 2008


Sorry, but you're being disingenuous here. Regardless of the post if you had no strong feelings you wouldn't have posted to MeTa. I can see the point, but at least have the moral courage to step up to the plate.

This is not actually so, and I think it's a little damaging to the function of Metatalk to propogate the notion that it's true. Plenty of people have posted policy/community/discourse questions to Metatalk in other than a fit of pique. That folks have also posted about things about which they are in fact upset doesn't change that, and there's no reason the two (hazy, very general) classes of post wouldn't co-exist.

Painting every post as necessarily secretly driven by passion or a strong emotional reaction or objection needlessly inflames posts in a way that I think just lowers the signal to noise ratio in here, and to the extent that I see folks react immediately and negatively to reasonably well-put-together metatalk posts, it frustrates the hell out of me to see that attitude reinforced as some sort of mythical truth.

And I'm coming from a position of being in general more keenly aware than all but two other people on this site of what is and isn't going on in the background of any given metatalk callout. I'd never suggest that many metatalk posts aren't made in the heat of the moment, nor that folks haven't been coy or less-than-forthcoming about the recent events motivating (at least in part) a given post, but I'd love to see the idea that every metatalk must be a flaming pyre of retribution or whatever the heck be put to bed. It's not so, and the idea that it is so is bad for the health of the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:53 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Apostrophe's are phallocentric.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:56 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I mean that's why it's about real v. fake breasts, rather than, I dunno, real hair vs. plugs on men.

FWIW, I would totally check out that hairplugs site if it existed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:56 PM on July 10, 2008


Apostrophe's are phallocentric.

I always thought of them more as androgynous nubbins, like the controllers in the movie eXistenZ.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:00 PM on July 10, 2008


That movie is totally about buttsex.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on July 10, 2008


"Is there a site where we get to guess if the "dick" in the porn is real and attached to the actor, photoshopped, or some kind of huge dildo? I'm sure there must be."

Actually, if I had the time and inclination (which I do not), the real porno question would be whether or not the spooge is real. I was surprised by how often it's faked, and how often real jizz looks fake (and vice versa).
posted by klangklangston at 4:02 PM on July 10, 2008


As a woman, I didn't think this was "boyzone" at all. It's no different than any other site that sees if you can identify plastic surgery. Breast implants are only as sexualized as you make them. To me, it was fairly sterile, and more medical than jerk-off material or something. To me, this is like being offended by National Geographic.

I realize that people are going to talk about and complain about whatever they want, but for whatever it's worth, the "is MeFi sexist" posts are really tiresome to me. I don't feel like MeFi is sexist at all, and I groan whenever I see those posts. Maybe there have been times when it was warranted, but honestly, none spring to mind. If anything, this sort of thing is the wolf-calling that leads people to dismiss things that actually are egregiously sexist; when you get sick of people whining about nothing, you're conditioned to be annoyed by their complaining even when they have a point. Pick your battles, people. If you make an issue out of little things, pretty soon no one takes you seriously and can't stand to talk to you.

This and the "cunt" thing strike me as hypersensitive, to be frank. I try not to judge when people are offended by these things -- sometimes they have good reasons I don't have the patience to detangle -- but it's a struggle.
posted by Nattie at 4:02 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


In a way, this reminds me of the AskMe thread of the guy asking if he should tell his girlfriend that he eats his boogers. And almost everyone was like, "absolutely not!" Because you don't want her to associate that with you, because it's the kind of habit that will concentrate her attention and make it hard for her to focus on his many other no doubt fine attributes.

I come to Metafilter to talk about books or strange natural phenomena or weird animals or personality-laden GPS units or cultural dating practices and the like, and sometimes even politics. And I feel like I have good conversations with people here talking about those and other issues, and like we connect intellectually, and like I'm appreciated because of the experiences and opinions that I express.

And then I see a thread like this, and it concentrates my attention on the fact that whatever conversations I might have with some folks, just beneath the surfact there is always some more animal urge that they don't think it's worth it to control where judging naked breasts is somehow appropriate. I might be smart or kind or quirky, but in the end this kind of thread reminds me that whatever connections I might think I'm making, I'm a member of a gender that you think it's polite to look at naked pictures of and judge, right in front of me. There are lots of places in society where you would not think this was acceptable. (i.e., the NSFW warning.) But this is the Internet after all, and it seems to be acceptable here.

Again, I understand that many folks are not upset by this, and I don't mean to exaggerate my own discomfort. I do just feel that the occasional post of this type is a weird reminder to me that my gender is for objectifying, even here. Like I'm being put in my place. Like my boyfriend has a habit of eating boogers that he thinks is sufficiently acceptable social behavior to do right in front of me.

Metafilter, I would rather if you ate your boogers somewhere else.
posted by onlyconnect at 4:04 PM on July 10, 2008 [14 favorites]


"I'd love it if women's bodies weren't so fucking sexualized. It'd make my day a lot easier when I'm outside walking around minding my own business and getting the occasional catcall."

The occasional non-sexual catcall? "Hey baby, you look like you're in grad school!" "Hey, why don't you come over here and engage me as a person?"
posted by klangklangston at 4:05 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


This is not actually so, and I think it's a little damaging to the function of Metatalk to propogate the notion that it's true. Plenty of people have posted policy/community/discourse questions to Metatalk in other than a fit of pique.

I don't need the person to be upset or anything. I just want them to hold a position, instead of "I don't really care about this, but I guess we should talk about it", which is how I read this post.
posted by smackfu at 4:07 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


"To me, this is like being offended by National Geographic."

Yeah, but, see, I'd flag a post that was a link to every NatGeo picture of some native woman's tits.
posted by klangklangston at 4:07 PM on July 10, 2008


Hi folks!

• First, I wanted to say that I'm blissfully ignorant of most of what goes down in MetaTalk, especially regarding 100-plus-comment debates on whether or not something constitutes sexism. Sorry for stepping in the pile of dogshit that was in the middle of the room; I had my noseclip on and was looking at the ceiling.

• I come to MeFi for the diversionary nature: the cool links, interesting articles, overviews on things, music, etc. I don't subscribe to the tagline "Best of the Web" at all. I appreciate the wide range of things you can find here. And, as I have seen plenty of sillier things here, I thought I wouldn't be too far out of line when posting this quickie. In any case, I thought it was amusing and fluff enough not to draw lightning, or to lower the bar significantly. Yeah, maybe not my finest post, but they can't all be!

• As far as the politics of this goes, amyms' comment upthread pretty much sums up my feelings.

• I loved that people bemoaned the sad state of memepool. That really gave me a thrill. I was wondering what happened to memepool, and I don't think it was the sex posts that killed it.

• I don't come here to fight or irritate people or to troll, just to be a slight wiseass if anything. And that FPP is about the most crass I'll get, probably, so... yeah, I think that's all I have to say, so I'll sign off here.

• Have fun! ***hugs everyone in a nonsexual way***

***hugs cortex a bit too long and slow, while leering at Jessamyn over his shoulder***

posted by not_on_display at 4:07 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but, see, I'd flag a post that was a link to every NatGeo picture of some native woman's tits.

But at least they're real.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:10 PM on July 10, 2008


I see "boyzone" as being a less mean-spirited and more unconscious thing than out-and-out sexism and so if I have used that term, that's what I have meant. It's when a group of guys get together and start acting and talking like some young guys might when there are no women present. First it's a simple little exercise in lighting farts, then the girlie mags get broken out and suddenly it's a circle jerk. And I am like, oops, this is not my beautiful house, where's the exit?

But this isn't your house, it's more akin to the public park. Really, lighting farts and looking at cheesecake may be dumb or tasteless, but I don't get how it is intrinsically degrading to women. In fact, I wouldn't even make the assumption that all women automatically reject that sort of entertainment, because sweeping generalizations based on physical reproductive attributes are sexist. I am frankly tired of the implication that as a woman, I am bound to dislike anything and everything that some other woman is offended by. I find it far more offensively sexist when so many people imply or state outright that women are by nature more pure minded, soft spoken, and non confrontational; and that outspoken, blunt, confrontational women who have no problem telling misogynistic jackasses that they are full of baloney are the outliers- or worse, that they are unfeminine. It's always been the case here that people, and in particular women, that promote these antiquated Victorian notions are allowed to do so with nary an objection, yet these sorts of deeply ingrained assumptions are far more harmful to the notion of women as free thinking individuals than any sophmoric bozo saying "I'd hit it". More harmful than pictures of breasts. Or the word "twat". For fuck's sake. Yet that's what we argue about- not the fact that all sorts of people make assumptions about other people's motivations, actions, and points of view based on their gender, all the freaking time. Er, not that we have to argue about those things either. But really, anti-women hatred can't be assumed based on a dumb post, or a lame comment. I'm sorry that some people are made uncomfortable by such things, and I fully support their right to speak up. I just wish that the bringing up was not often couched in terms of "boys are gross" or "girls are afraid to confront people". Because I think that those sorts of gender based generalizations are wrong and unfair.

I've never felt unwelcome to express my opinion, or weigh in on a subject here. Nor have I ever been not taken seriously, or ignored, or ridiculed, or treated to any personal attack because I am female. I don't expect my experience to mirror anyone else's, but I'm willing to go head to head with anyone who seriously posits that MetaFilter is a boyzone. I read a lot of posts, and I just don't see that sort of thing happening here. But feel free to point out anything I've missed.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:10 PM on July 10, 2008 [24 favorites]


I've never felt unwelcome to express my opinion, or weigh in on a subject here. Nor have I ever been not taken seriously, or ignored, or ridiculed, or treated to any personal attack because I am female. I don't expect my experience to mirror anyone else's, but I'm willing to go head to head with anyone who seriously posits that MetaFilter is a boyzone. I read a lot of posts, and I just don't see that sort of thing happening here.

That -- and the rest of oneirodynia's post -- really sums up my feelings well. Thank you for typing that.
posted by Nattie at 4:16 PM on July 10, 2008


I didn't read the post because I knew it wouldn't interest me. However, I did watch BBC America's My Big Breasts and Me last night. Fascinating, actually: It debunks some of the mystique of big boobies.
posted by Robert Angelo at 4:17 PM on July 10, 2008


onlyconnect: "just beneath the surfact there is always some more animal urge that they don't think it's worth it to control where judging naked breasts is somehow appropriate."

Many things go on in the minds of human beings when they assess others visually and get that first impression. And many of those things dwell of the physical aspects of the person in front of them. They might be looking at other parts of the body rather than the chest area too.
Women do this with men as well. And with other women.
Maybe I've just had a lot of really verbal women friends - but I've heard comments about both gender's physical attributes, shall we say. I don't engage in it myself - but I don't censor others.

Happily we don't have to hear what goes on in the internal monologue. This is a good thing. Although there would be a lot more sitcomy "offended person slaps other person" type moments if we could hear those thoughts.
posted by batgrlHG at 4:17 PM on July 10, 2008


And sorry, I didn't mean to imply onlyconnect wanted to censor - only realized that after I hit post - I was trying to say that I don't censor my friends, even if I don't act in the same manner.
posted by batgrlHG at 4:19 PM on July 10, 2008


"Boizone" means something else entirely at the Mine Shaft on Tuesday nights.

Boizone.com (NSFW -- duh): "Gay online guide featuring porn site reviews, gay porn stars, twinks, college boys, bondage, fetish, industry gossip, and erotic stories."
posted by ericb at 4:20 PM on July 10, 2008


"Really, lighting farts and looking at cheesecake may be dumb or tasteless, but I don't get how it is intrinsically degrading to women."

Two things: I don't think that people are necessarily arguing that it's inherently degrading (if they are, it's kind of a weak argument), but rather that it's exclusionary. A bunch of guys hanging around gibbering about stroke mags (by the way folks, plenty of subscriptions available) doesn't leave a woman who isn't interested in that a lot of conversational leeway, and that can feel pretty weird. Hell, it can feel pretty weird for me, and I work at stroke mags.

Second thing is that while it's totally awesome that you've never felt this, some other women are saying they have. And some women that posted a lot of cool shit, stuff that I'd love to see much more than more titties, have left because of it.

Leaving aside the moral aspects, which as a dude I don't particularly want to engage for fear of being unnecessarily clumsy, from a strict utilitarian perspective regarding my own pleasure—I'd rather have less boyzone in general, but feel only kinda weakly anti regarding this post.
posted by klangklangston at 4:22 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Cortex: "Plenty of people have posted policy/community/discourse questions to Metatalk in other than a fit of pique."

Point taken. But I take issue with the OP's comment of deflecting the argument onto comments made by others who may (or may not) have made their feelings clear on the site. Especially so when the OP themselves has not viewed the link in question.

My point is - make your stand by all means, but please take the time to back up your argument and don't deflect it via the grounds that other people have told you they object.

Disclaimer: I viewed the link and gave it 1 meh's out of 5
posted by panboi at 4:23 PM on July 10, 2008


I was surprised by how often it's faked, and how often real jizz looks fake (and vice versa).

*Quietly registers SpunkOrBunk.com*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:23 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Women do this with men as well. And with other women.
Maybe I've just had a lot of really verbal women friends - but I've heard comments about both gender's physical attributes, shall we say.


Yeah, this is another reason why it baffles me someone would say the site is male-oriented. Lots of women discuss whether or not other women have fake boobs, at least in my experience. Anecdotally speaking, I even hear this far more from women than I do from men, and I have way more men friends than women friends.
posted by Nattie at 4:25 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess the post just reminds me of things like those photography magazines that are ostensibly about, y'know, photography, but are really about looking at ladies in assorted levels of undress. Because, hey, that's what women's bodies are there for--gazing, amirite?

This seems to be the prevailing sentiment here. I take it then that no one took the "test" because they were curious about the results? You took it as an opportunity to ogle?

I might be tired from work, but this was not a thrill in any way. I just wanted to know if I could tell. I didn't so much as pause at a pair, nor determine if one was worth pausing over.

I'd love it if women's bodies weren't so fucking sexualized.

Your wish is my command. Maybe that's the secret: overtime.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:29 PM on July 10, 2008


Lately, Mefi seems a bit more baconzone than boyzone.

I approve of this trend.
posted by zennie at 4:29 PM on July 10, 2008


A bunch of guys hanging around gibbering about stroke mags (by the way folks, plenty of subscriptions available) doesn't leave a woman who isn't interested in that a lot of conversational leeway,

A buncha math dorks gibbering about algebra dosen't allow the non-mathematically inclined much conversationally leeway either, but we'll live. Algebra, like boobies (both fake and real) are parts of life, and a little bit of raunchy humor isn't going to irreparably stain anyones virtue.

Not to mention, in the age of ubiquitous plastic surgery, the 'fake or real' guessing game has become a popular bar pastime among plenty of people I know,male and female. Dressing up schoolmarmish don't-say-bad-words scolding dosen't change what it is.
posted by jonmc at 4:35 PM on July 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


You took it as an opportunity to ogle?

Well, one finds nudity so infrequently on the internet nowadays that you have to take your opportunities when they appear...

Kidding aside, I found this post pretty inoffensive for the same reasons batgirlHG said and was kind of surprised that there were people who felt otherwise. Buuuut more than a few of those folks are people whom I respect and like immensely, and if they're turned off of the site because of that post, it certainly isn't worth it, IMO.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:41 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't need the person to be upset or anything. I just want them to hold a position, instead of "I don't really care about this, but I guess we should talk about it", which is how I read this post.

and

My point is - make your stand by all means, but please take the time to back up your argument and don't deflect it via the grounds that other people have told you they object.

Fair enough, those are both clearer to me than what I (felt like I) read before.

I don't particularly agree that the poster needs to hold a position on the subject, though; and I don't agree that not having a position is the same as not caring. Intellectual curiosity about some site phenomenon about which you haven't previously made up your mind seems fine, to me, as a basis for a Metatalk, if the callout itself is done well (however much Migs may have been roasted back in the day for that sort of thing).

Miguel, it's been like six months. You really ought to drop by. We're nearly out of ice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:47 PM on July 10, 2008


"A buncha math dorks gibbering about algebra dosen't allow the non-mathematically inclined much conversationally leeway either, but we'll live."

I can't remember a single person leaving over the site becoming too math-centric, can you?
posted by klangklangston at 4:48 PM on July 10, 2008


*leads entire site in drunken singalong of "Kiss Me I'm ShitFaced and "The Spicy McHaggis Jig."*

This, as we all know, is the solution to all the world's problems.
posted by jonmc at 4:49 PM on July 10, 2008


I can't remember a single person leaving over the site becoming too math-centric, can you?

People have left the site for it being too hostile to conservatives, but I don't see anybody asking anti-Republican rhetoric to be toned down (having indulged in it myself, I wouldn't want anyone to).

My point is, I'm cool with trying to be welcoming to females, but I'm not all that comfortable with the idea of catering to the most thin-skinned in any group, and anyone who would get tied up in knots over this site qualifies. Sorry, but that's my opinion on the subject.
posted by jonmc at 4:53 PM on July 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


I don't whine about knitting or kitties or any of the hundreds of other topics that get discussed here that I am not interested in.

The fact that you see this as remotely equivalent to a guy linking to a site that has made looking at women's naked breasts into a game that can be scored confuses me exceedingly.

please will you GO AWAY

I'm not sure if you're talking to me since I never expressed a desire to remove anything male-oriented from the site, but I'll assume that you are because I'm one of the few people that said the thread in question offended me.

I'm invested in this site. I'm sure folks are tired of hearing me say it, but I met my husband through a MeFi meetup. I've as much right to be here as you, to express my opinions as you, and to have those opinions taken into consideration as you. I'd rather not leave, to be honest.

I've really aimed not to get angry or emotional in this thread, and just express what I'm feeling as objectively, and politely, as possible. Yet this is the second time in this MetaTalk thread where guys have basically implored me to leave. Really? I mean, I shouldn't even express my opinion, it's that incendiary? Is it really that crazy for a woman here to say that she felt offended and objectified about a post about naked breasts and the judging thereof?
posted by onlyconnect at 4:58 PM on July 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


Regarding my comment in this thread that I quickly had the mods delete:
  • for anyone who saw it and said "right on brother!", I offer this for failing to have the strength to stand up for my convictions and leave my opinion stand.
  • for anyone who saw it and thought "yet another bit of evidence that Meatbomb sure is a sexist jerk," please see this.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:01 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


This and the "cunt" thing strike me as hypersensitive, to be frank.

HUH?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:02 PM on July 10, 2008


please will you GO AWAY

me and onlyconnect disagree on a lot, but that's over the line. If I want my opinions to be heard, I owe her the same. That's really the only rule as far as I'm concerned. That and no links to Kenny G videos.
posted by jonmc at 5:03 PM on July 10, 2008


more than a few of those folks are people whom I respect and like immensely, and if they're turned off of the site because of that post, it certainly isn't worth it, IMO.

This is my take on things as well. If I see women I think highly of complaining about a post, I'll take that complaint seriously even if I don't see much of a problem on my own hook.
posted by languagehat at 5:05 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why was that comment deleted?
posted by smackfu at 5:05 PM on July 10, 2008


Because Meatbomb asked and maybe a minute or two had passed and no one had mentioned it at the time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:07 PM on July 10, 2008


I can't believe how vehemently some people are defending that crappy post. And to be honest I'm more offended by this thread than by that. Now not only do we have a conversation where we're ogling titties but we're telling women we're bored by their complaints about it. That's class.

I like your stuff a lot of the time, not_on_display, but you totally shit the bed on this one.

Anyway, I've thrown my flag into the queue, for what it's worth.
posted by loiseau at 5:13 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Because either:
  • I am a coward who doesn't have the courage of my convictions
  • I have now been properly educated by the thought police
  • I regretted saying something too inflammatory that would just stir shit unnecessarily, and regretted posting immediately after pushing the little yellow button
Take your pick, apologies all around, it is bedtime for bonzo. Hugs everyone!
posted by Meatbomb at 5:13 PM on July 10, 2008


Oh, and PS. maybe the reason women are using the term "boyzone" instead of "sexism" is because it softens the impact. Because that's what women often feel we have to do.
posted by loiseau at 5:16 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


BTW I do want to hop in and fully support the OP's desire to ask a question on this subject. Never hurts. And could possibly make decent fodder for academic research, should anyone out there be so inclined.

"A buncha math dorks gibbering about algebra dosen't allow the non-mathematically inclined much conversationally leeway either"

Wow, there are others that feel marginalized by the uber maths crowd?! I'm not alone?
Er, not that I don't respect the uber maths crowd...

I should add that there's a whole subset of women out there that oogle/sigh over math dorks. Yes, those women exist, they are not mythological creatures, no matter what you may have heard.

onlyconnect: "but I'll assume that you are because I'm one of the few people that said the thread in question offended me. ... Is it really that crazy for a woman here to say that she felt offended and objectified about a post about naked breasts and the judging thereof?"

I should also add that I'm ok with how you feel about this, even if I'm not in agreement with you. It's not crazy, it's your opinion - and it has a lot to do with how you personally see the issue. Which is ok. But the act of somone else looking at breasts objectifying you personally - well, it's a jump not everyone makes, not even all of the feminists who are into theory of such things.

I think many people are trying to tell you "please allow me the ability to look at these things without feeling like I'm branded as a sexist pig/jerk/doing something to you personally/etc." And remember, there are a lot of gay and bisexual women out there who wouldn't agree with you on this either. And frankly there's some decent numbers for heterosexual women's porn sales too that say many more women enjoy this as well. So yes, it's ok for people to look at women's bodies on the internet. Men's bodies too. Both genders enjoy this - though definitely not the same kind of content. But not everyone is going to admit that it's something both male and females do. Or be comfortable with that.

Lots of other people are invested in this site too. (I met my husband indirectly through this place.) No matter what everyone is going to see something on this site that they don't like in some way. Frankly I think this place has only gotten better in terms of awareness of potential sexist content, in the time I've followed it.
posted by batgrlHG at 5:18 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow, there are others that feel marginalized by the uber maths crowd?!

The only thing I feel marginalized by is the Page Setup controls on MS Word.

(Also, we have this discussion so many times I'm beginning to think that some people secretly enjoy it. It's after work, people. Go crack a beer and watch TV or something.)
posted by jonmc at 5:21 PM on July 10, 2008


This seems to be what I was looking for but now I'm not sure what to do with it. Hmmmm
posted by nola at 5:26 PM on July 10, 2008


"People have left the site for it being too hostile to conservatives, but I don't see anybody asking anti-Republican rhetoric to be toned down (having indulged in it myself, I wouldn't want anyone to)."

I have. Anti-Republican rhetoric, or anti-conservative rhetoric, or (especially) anti-Christian rhetoric can bug me when it seems gratuitous and petty, which happens more often than it should.

Why? Because of a couple of things: First off, I generally like most of the conservatives here. They can annoy me, but so can you. Second, I often think a lot more about my own positions because of them, even when I disagree. Third, they're sometimes right and I don't want to miss out because someone else has to get in some tired zing.
posted by klangklangston at 5:30 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]




well, more power to you, klang, but I don't delude myself that we're actually changing the world here. we're a bunch of dorks killing time at work or there's nothing on TV at home. And I hate prissiness worse than poison and ofterntimes concern takes a sharp left right into that around here.

They can annoy me, but so can you.

Dude, I exist to annoy people. But you knew that.
posted by jonmc at 5:35 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. I, personally, have no strong feelings one way or another (I can't click the link from work)

2. So, I'm asking: What makes this a good Metafilter post?


I don't know but I can tell you what makes this an awful MetaTalk thread
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:36 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't remember a single person leaving over the site becoming too math-centric, can you?

I wouldn't be shocked if someone left over the .9999... =1 kerfuffle.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:46 PM on July 10, 2008


I actually enjoy watching people get all hissy about stuff like this. It's an amusing way to cap off the day.
posted by Afroblanco at 5:47 PM on July 10, 2008


klangklangston writes "Actually, if I had the time and inclination (which I do not), the real porno question would be whether or not the spooge is real. I was surprised by how often it's faked, and how often real jizz looks fake (and vice versa)."

If you ever get motivated make sure you concentrate on gay porn so as to not induce another round of boyzone metatalk threads.
posted by Mitheral at 5:49 PM on July 10, 2008


What he said.
posted by nola at 5:49 PM on July 10, 2008


That is what Afroblanco said. Damn flux capacitor.
posted by nola at 5:50 PM on July 10, 2008


Y'know today at work somebody sold us a book of Led Zeppelin lyrics. in English with Spanish translations. (no shit)

Oye, Oye, nena, con esa manera de moverte
Vas a sudar, vas a ponerte a gusto
Oh, Oh, nena, sauciendo eso asi
te va a picar, te pondras ardiendo
Oye, oye nena, cuand caminas asi
Mira como gotea la miel, no puedo ir muy lejos

(I have no idea whwteher the translation is accurate or not, but that's what it says)
posted by jonmc at 5:55 PM on July 10, 2008


Also, because no "boyzone" thread would be complete without it - what St. Carlin said.

(it's okay to laugh)
posted by Afroblanco at 5:57 PM on July 10, 2008


First it's a simple little exercise in lighting farts, then the girlie mags get broken out and suddenly it's a circle jerk.

I'm 41, and have had a reasonably regular social life as a kid, adolescent, and adult. Is the quoted practice actually common? Am I the only male heterosexual who never (a) lit farts (b) hung out with friends who eventually (apparently) decided the only thing to do was to dip into a stash of porno and (c) then proceeded to rub one out in company of those friends? I mean, I'm a base and vulgar guy, and this still wasn't on my radar.

I don't doubt this goes on somewhere, but to suggest it's a common or baseline activity is pretty silly--as lurid and unlikely as your typical porn movie where any two girls left alone together invariably have sex.
posted by maxwelton at 5:58 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Am I the only male heterosexual who never (a) lit farts (b) hung out with friends who eventually (apparently) decided the only thing to do was to dip into a stash of porno and (c) then proceeded to rub one out in company of those friends?

I never did all three at once, but I have watched a friend light farts, and I did read look at porn in the company of friends as an adult. never did the circle jerk thing. So, if you never did any of the above, I'd say that yes, you have a lot of catching up to do.
posted by jonmc at 6:01 PM on July 10, 2008


I think that post is not the best of the web by any stretch of the imagination. I also (and if I'm wrong please forgive my assumption) assumed it was allowed to stand for internal reasons.

What loiseu said about how offensive people are being in this threat has merit. I'm numb.
posted by reflecked at 6:05 PM on July 10, 2008


You may want to find some place other than the internet to hang out then.
posted by smackfu at 6:08 PM on July 10, 2008


. . .decided the only thing to do was to dip into a stash of porno and (c) then proceeded to rub one out in company of those friends?

No your not alone, but from what I've heard you and I have lead sheltered lives.
posted by nola at 6:09 PM on July 10, 2008


but I met my husband through a MeFi meetup.

Really? That's pretty cool.

*dances ancient doughnut dance*

cortex, what's the stats on people who met their mate through mefi?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:12 PM on July 10, 2008


The year 2000 called, it wants its "HAY GUYS I COMBINED A SIMPLE WEBSITE QUIZ WITH PICTURES OF TITS" post back.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:13 PM on July 10, 2008


I also (and if I'm wrong please forgive my assumption) assumed it was allowed to stand for internal reasons.

you're forgiven.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:14 PM on July 10, 2008


Am I the only male heterosexual who never (a) lit farts (b) hung out with friends who eventually (apparently) decided the only thing to do was to dip into a stash of porno and (c) then proceeded to rub one out in company of those friends?

Nope, apparently my Y chromosome is broken as well since I've never had the urge to do those things.

Maybe it's like that male idea that when women get together they strip down to their underwear and have pillow fights.
posted by Tenuki at 6:18 PM on July 10, 2008


You may want to find some place other than the internet to hang out then.

As lame and grating as the "Grow a thicker skin, this is teh internets!" posture is, it's a particularly bullshit thing to say here considering that they are objecting to pretty crappy comments made on a website/community that prides itself on discourse that's above the internet's low, low standards.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:20 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


You're right, I don't understand how they function on the other parts of the internet.
posted by smackfu at 6:24 PM on July 10, 2008


That was not a very good post. Not particularly sexist. But not interesting either. There is nothiing to talk about except the shit storm it was going to inevitably produce.

The site itself was terrible. Poorly designed. Awful lifted jpegs from other sites. No effort at all.

Yeah. Pretty crappy.
posted by tkchrist at 6:27 PM on July 10, 2008


Having just played it, I disagree. It was actually a pretty hard game, and I was just coming here to say so. So there, nyaaah.
posted by yhbc at 6:31 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]




Yeah, guess I've gotten sick of the complaining.
posted by smackfu at 6:36 PM on July 10, 2008


Circle Jerk.

I have only ever hear whispers. I have never witnessed one and I do not believe that they are in the ordinary course. I would be interested to hear anyone's first person testimonial, however.

Of all things, though, you'd figure there would be a "Circle Jerks in Popular Culture" section on Wikipedia.
posted by kosem at 6:36 PM on July 10, 2008


I don't know. If people are upset, it's only right for them to voice their concern and ask the community to discuss it. However, it's also legitimate for others to question whether their concern is well-founded. I don't think that the fact that something is upsetting is enough to warrant a change in community standards or practice.

I do, as a member of this community, want to share a little about my experience here. First, for what it's worth, I feel far more comfortable "coming out" as a woman than I do as an, uh, non-Obama-voter (though this has never prevented me from posting whatever I want). Second, the Wiki page that was linked to earlier has made me extremely angry. Apparently, war is a male topic, as is anything political or "important." This came as news to me. I had naively assumed that topics have no gender. Nor did I understand that my sometimes aggressive and confrontational conversational style is a masculine trait that oppresses the women with whom I converse.

I know that the fact that I feel neither silenced nor oppressed does not mean that no one is marginalized here, but I have read this thread and have experienced a failure of my imagination. I do not understand what the big deal is. And I resent the idea that the presence of speech that makes me uncomfortable or denigrates me either silences or oppresses me. I think that attitude is antithetical to the values that have placed freedom of speech first in the Bill of Rights.

I want to second oneirodynia, who has said:
I find it far more offensively sexist when so many people imply or state outright that women are by nature more pure minded, soft spoken, and non confrontational; and that outspoken, blunt, confrontational women who have no problem telling misogynistic jackasses that they are full of baloney are the outliers- or worse, that they are unfeminine. I find it far more offensively sexist when so many people imply or state outright that women are by nature more pure minded, soft spoken, and non confrontational; and that outspoken, blunt, confrontational women who have no problem telling misogynistic jackasses that they are full of baloney are the outliers- or worse, that they are unfeminine.

And I further second her in saying:
I've never felt unwelcome to express my opinion, or weigh in on a subject here. Nor have I ever been not taken seriously, or ignored, or ridiculed, or treated to any personal attack because I am female. I don't expect my experience to mirror anyone else's, but I'm willing to go head to head with anyone who seriously posits that MetaFilter is a boyzone. I read a lot of posts, and I just don't see that sort of thing happening here. But feel free to point out anything I've missed.

As a general matter, I find it hard to believe that speech of any kind is something that I, or anyone else, needs protection from when no one is being physically endangered or actually drowned out.
posted by prefpara at 6:43 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


This "they" functions just fine. People who are so rude and dismissive in this thread often have intelligent things to say when they don't feel threatened somehow. I've been an internet user for a long time (1994) and am used to blurring my vision when the boyz start showing off. I'm really good at skimming past the crap and finding the good. I read this thread with particular attention, and got numb prettty damn fast.

I'm like onlyconnect. I'm not going anywhere. My point of view is at least as valuable as those of you who somehow feel so threatened and come across as knee-jerk crass.

What Alvy Ampersand said about the community pride in discourse above the low low standards found elsewhere is: spot on. That's what I really hope to find here. When I found myself feeling so disappointed and somewhat mentally battered after reading this thread, i called on my old friend "numb". YMMV
posted by reflecked at 6:44 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I also (and if I'm wrong please forgive my assumption) assumed it was allowed to stand for internal reasons.

Yeah, no. My delete finger is unswayed by such human emotions, as the deleted thread blog will attest.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:45 PM on July 10, 2008


The disconect between men and women has everything to do with a mighty large misunderstanding. Women have throughout history. and in my own limited anecdotal experiance, shown courage the likes of which no man will ever need to muster. Watching Liz give birth to our daughter (may seem like a cliche till you see this for yourself friend) taught me more about the great reserve that a woman has. Seeing her up late night after night feeding and comforting a unhappy child, long after my strenght had give out, proved to me what fine stuff woman was made of. But friends, there are things a man has to face that women will not ever be expected to, nor will they understand. A man can never show weakness, unless he is like a woman and then to be pitied; you don't like it? Tough.
Men don't respect weakness in men, and in this age when women want to mix it up with the fellows confusion rains, because if you want a man to treat you as an equal, you have to take your licks like a man would. You don't like the word "cunt" you want to order the dialog and make things nice and tempered for the sake of fairness? You will be missing the point. In the world of men things are not about "fair" the rules are men's rules and you and I can't change them. If you're a women, let me share with you the truth about men. If you show weakness over anything it will be exploited, you have to have a good poker face, you have to keep the cards close to your chest. Men have been born to take abuse, mental abuse, physical abuse, abuse of all sorts. We challenge each other constantly, if you don't like being challenged you will be anyway until we pitty you to much to bother. That is what it is to be a man, if you want equal footing with men you'll have to understand that to survive. If you don't believe me ask Hillary. I tell you this not to act like your better, or to try and put you in your place, I state it as a flat fact, as a man who has seen it first hand and will gladly call bullshit on anyone who claims otherwise. I tell you this so you are better armed, because if you're not taking shit from a man, it means he thinks you can't handle it and has stopped. Because a man doesn't fight with women, he fights with men. I don't konw why but he does. If this site shows "boyzone" it shows it not in the sexist comments or posts but the constant sparing that is the hallmark of men at work.
posted by nola at 6:48 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I dunno.. I thought it was a great post and site (or at least pretty good). Not only does it depict a broad cross section of breasts, it appears to use quite a sophisticated scoring mechanism. Pictures that are hard to guess right yield far more points than ones that are easy to guess.

Further, I don't see the hyper-sexualisation argument at all. This site did not create the regrettable phenomena of cosmetic breast implants; and if anything, it is a strong argument against them.
posted by Chuckles at 6:48 PM on July 10, 2008


From the wikipage on boyzone (emphasis mine):
boyzone' (generally uncapitalized and run together) is the sense that some women have that a forum is a place where:

male topics are celebrated
    war, politics, "important things"
female topics are denigrated
male
    sexual discussions
    adult imagery
    gender stereotyping
coarse jokes
male conversational behaviors
    bullying
    aggressive, confrontation argumentation
    avoidance of consensus
anything that makes females uncomfortable
Seriously, ANYTHING? Coarse jokes?

Those are really vague and broad and boil down to "I know it when I see it". Keeping such loose terms in the definition only serve to weaken it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously, ANYTHING? Coarse jokes?

yes, dirty words will end the world. Like I said, prissiness, pure and simple.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


February 24, 2002
Is Metafilter a Boyzone? Was recommending MeFi to one of my girl-pals, and she came back to me with the following: "interesting...but it's a bit of a men's room, isn't it?" ... Now she's actually v. pro-men, and no knee-jerk feminist, so she's got me wondering: Are we? And if so, does it matter?


It's pretty much the same exact argument. Fascinating.
posted by smackfu at 7:03 PM on July 10, 2008


I should also mention that Liz has an account here, and the thing that keeps here from interacting here much is the aggressiveness of many commenters on the site, which I'm sure she hasn't bothered to check their gender but I'd guess they are men. Her complaint with the site isn't sexism but the aggressiveness of the dialog, and that goes for the white knights in here as much as anyone else.
posted by nola at 7:07 PM on July 10, 2008


Her complaint with the site isn't sexism but the aggressiveness of the dialog, and that goes for the white knights in here as much as anyone else.

Well, it's the internet. People say things they'd never say to someone in person for fear of getting popped in the face. I think we can pretty much take that as a given.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Seriously, ANYTHING? Coarse jokes?

The wiki is a wiki. It's unofficial and it's not policy. If you don't think what it is saying reflects reality, go change it. Since the wiki moved to its new digs, we can't tell what the revisions were on that page beforehand but it seems to me that someone was probably goofing with it, don't you think?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:13 PM on July 10, 2008


It's actually more of a memepool-nostalgia zone.

the fact that it quickly mutated into a memepool thread reassured and amused me.

Good lord we're a bunch of nerds. Only we could turn a post about fake boobs into a discussion about a basically obsolete website. If it had been a hardcore porn site would the discussion have devolved into nostalgia for Gopher?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:15 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


"A man can never show weakness, unless he is like a woman and then to be pitied; you don't like it? Tough. "

Vive le patriarchy!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:18 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you don't think what it is saying reflects reality, go change it.

Heh, talk about a mine field that you don't want to step in. I was going to update it but it's pretty much all offensive to someone or other.
posted by smackfu at 7:22 PM on July 10, 2008


oh nola, I DO like the word cunt. It's a lovely word. A perfectly, euphoniusly fine word. It's just not an insult word. It's a love word; it's a woman word; it's what I call my own privates. When it gets used pejoratively, it feels like a threat. When it's used to belittle, it has a strong connotation of misogyny.

jonmc has it: "people say things they'd never say to someone in person for fear of getting popped in the face."

I don't pop people in the face. I just respect them much less. That does those who feel the need to be crude no harm at all, as far as I know.


I publicly apologize for my presumption about any moderating decisions.
posted by reflecked at 7:23 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


OK, OK, I am sorry I brought up the fart-lighting, porno and circle jerk stuff since it seems to be widely taken seriously. For the record, I have nothing against farts, lit or unlit, porno, or circle jerks - any and all could be quite enjoyable in the right circumstances. I was trying to make my point with a light, amusing touch - guess us humorless feminists shouldn't try that approach ;-)

Klangstonklangston got my point - that boyzone is a climate that feels exclusionary. OK, not for everyone. Nice to see that for some women here, that hasn't been the case. And that's great. Women are not some monolithic group who all feel the same way. There is no party line. But a not insubstantial number of women have felt differently. Over my years here, it has pained me to see so many great women contributors leaving mefi, citing publicly or privately that they were uncomfortable.

"It's always been the case here that people, and in particular women, that promote these antiquated Victorian notions are allowed to do so with nary an objection..."

-- Yet in this thread alone, in addition to assorted insults, we've seen at least three overt suggestions that women with such "notions" leave, either for the good of the site or because they probably don't fit in here.

onlyconnect, you've got a lot of heart. It is hard to stand up for your convictions when almost all the traffic is going the other way - good for you.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:24 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


At this point in life, I just take it as a given that everybody on earth (myself included) is going to spend a fair amount of time pissing and moaning that the world (and everybody in it) dosen't meet up to their utopian expectations and that there's not a damn thing anybody can do about it. Once I learned not to give a fuck what anybody thinks, I've been much happier. We're wormfood being processed, people.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Suggestion! Why not harness this man-ergy to write a wiki entry on the pussification of mefi? I think you all are up to it!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:26 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's unofficial and it's not policy

It's a grey area, what with people linking to it at the definition, you know?

If you don't think what it is saying reflects reality, go change it.

Good point, done. Suggestions welcomed, be they in agreement or disagreement.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on July 10, 2008


Man-ergy is actually laziness and fueled by beer and TV.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 PM on July 10, 2008


A wise man once said something to the effect of "I support feminism, really I do. That dosen't mean I wanna listen to it all the time."
posted by jonmc at 7:30 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


cortex: "...I'd say the same for a number of other things we've let stand in the name of not being overly slash-and-burn about the front page"

Gee, I would favor a bit of slash and burn to keep the standards high. I'm not so big on seeing post deletions based on topics; also not so big on comment deletion. But keeping the bar high for fpps by deleting weak, thin posts? I'm all for that!
posted by madamjujujive at 7:32 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


If someone is changing the wiki, which is not something I know how to do (I know... shameful), I would really appreciate it if that person would take out any reference to the idea that some topics are "male" and some are not.
posted by prefpara at 7:33 PM on July 10, 2008


That goes for any other ism as well, they all pretty much consist of people complaining all the time. Even when they're justified that gets old. Being right is no excuse for being boring.
posted by jonmc at 7:33 PM on July 10, 2008


@Brandon Blatcher

The problem is that such 'Ohnoes!' moments are pretty subjective. However as a general rule, things I try to avoid doing on the web:

Talking about how one gender causes toxic relationships, is inferior, a hiring risk, etc...
This includes: "I don't think men are practical", "Women are gold diggers."
Talking about human bodies in purely objectified, non-flattering terms. IE 'Jeez, that model has ugly elbows!' 'He should lose thirty pounds and get a nose job.'
Unwanted sexual come ons, rape jokes with people who are not expressly indicating they like them, making a big deal out of someone's race, religion, gender or other things protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Porn, outside an artistic context or a porn website.


However, 'guess the boobies' is more banal than isolating, though the post could be better if it was turned into a wider examination of the ramification of implants, a list of oldies but goodies, or so on. And if I see a website of nothing but banal boob posts it tends to be a flag that company here is superficial.
posted by Phalene at 7:34 PM on July 10, 2008


As a women who used to work for a breast implant company, I was mostly offended by the poor plastic surgery and what I believe to be poor fact checking. I know a fake boob and I know a real one, some of those "reals" were totally fake, and I would like my score augmented to reflect that.
posted by whoaali at 7:34 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would really appreciate it if that person would take out any reference to the idea that some topics are "male" and some are not

So menstruation and jock itch are of equal interest to both genders then?
posted by jonmc at 7:35 PM on July 10, 2008


klangy, it never fails to amuse me, given your job, how well you're able to articulate important themes revolving around sexism. Thanks for that. It's a shame that the venue is this depressingly familiar shitepox of a thread.
posted by peacay at 7:35 PM on July 10, 2008


As a women who used to work for a breast implant company

Did you sometimes grab a few and juggle them? I'd be unable to resist.
posted by jonmc at 7:36 PM on July 10, 2008


This MeTa thread has lowered my opinion of this community. I'm sorry about that.
posted by loiseau at 7:38 PM on July 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


So menstruation and jock itch are of equal interest to both genders then?

They may not be of identical interest, but it's not like men would never have heard of periods if they weren't cruising women's blogs. Nor do women have a total disinterest in the workings of the male body.

More to the point, politics was explicitly listed as a "male" topic. Can we, as reasonable people, agree that this is total bullshit?
posted by prefpara at 7:41 PM on July 10, 2008


We'll live.
posted by jonmc at 7:42 PM on July 10, 2008


That goes for any other ism as well, they all pretty much consist of people complaining all the time. Even when they're justified that gets old. Being right is no excuse for being boring.

I do wish people would quit their bitching about inequalities, it gets soooo tedious. I mean what is their deal?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:42 PM on July 10, 2008


As a women who used to work for a breast implant company

Did you sometimes grab a few and juggle them? I'd be unable to resist.


Oh sure. Not that easy to juggle though, mostly they come out at drunken parties. I'm fairly sure the pictures of several of my male friends on facebook running around with their shirts knotted and the boobs on, will one day ruin many a political career.
posted by whoaali at 7:44 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


it is if that's all they ever talk about.
posted by jonmc at 7:44 PM on July 10, 2008


More to the point, politics was explicitly listed as a "male" topic. Can we, as reasonable people, agree that this is total bullshit?

Yes. Politics is a "bore" topic.
posted by jonmc at 7:46 PM on July 10, 2008


Jon, every second or third comment for the last fifteen minutes has been you. Can you chill a little?
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:47 PM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, for those of you who saw this post as embodying "boyzone", I take it you could never in a million years imagine a mostly-woman-populated site linking to this?

If it were, would the same disingenuous comments be made about "scoring" and "judging"?

Maybe, just maybe, some of your assumptions are insulting, too. How many men in that thread exemplified ogling behaviour? (any? comments might have been deleted) How many rather did the usual score-comparison you'd find in any flash game thread? How many provided other content of any sort?

So. Your stereotypes. You know where to stick them.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:50 PM on July 10, 2008


Are you really that dense about the importance of context?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 7:54 PM on July 10, 2008


A wise man once said something to the effect of "I support feminism, really I do. That dosen't mean I wanna listen to it all the time."

"I support jonmc, really I do..."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:58 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are you really that dense about the importance of context?

Context like women discussing X is ok but men discussing X is inherently sexist? Shouldn't you take a little context from their behaviour? Or can men only be ogling in this situation? (because I wasn't and I doubt I'm the only one)

Are you really that dense that you can't see sexism when it's staring you in the face?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:00 PM on July 10, 2008


Yes, we're all neanderthals. Yay for enlightened thinking. Good for you. How very progressive.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:01 PM on July 10, 2008


Rampant sexism.
Rampant homophobia.
Rampant antifattism.

Metafilter is a cesspool of discrimination. It must be cleaned... sterilized. Such conduct should be made illegal, along with other anti-social behaviour. No one must ever become offended again*.

* May not apply to Republicans, Zionists.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:04 PM on July 10, 2008


You people only think that MeFi is a boyzone because you're too fat to get your cats declawed. Obviously, the antidepressants aren't working. Then again, how can one be happy at a time like this, what with Israel making life a living hell for all those poor, helpless Palestinians?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:06 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


..... and your favorite argument sucks!
posted by Afroblanco at 8:07 PM on July 10, 2008


We should also add a stronger "thoughtcrime" tag to the existing "offensive/sexism/racism" tag. In my humble opinion, the new tag should have an easily recognizable icon, perhaps something along these lines.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:09 PM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thoughtcrime tag? Why not just indicate M or F in profile? We can presume the rest, surely.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:13 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


This MeTa thread has lowered my opinion of this community.

The entire community? If so, why?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 PM on July 10, 2008


*resists urge to post YouTube vid of a pig eating a dead guy*

Instead, I'm going to visit many of you in your homes and slam the laptop screen down on your fingers really hard. Desktop users get a simple kick to the head.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:16 PM on July 10, 2008


The shorter wanker: La la la la la la la.....I won't listen to any objections that are not easy for me to understand or that involve me losing the right to say anything I fucking want or that mean that I can't see anything I want and anyone who disagrees with me is just an uptight dickish prude who should grow a pair, and to show you how much I don't care about your opinions I'll just mock whatever you say....la la la la la la la......................... ............................... ....................... are you still talking?
posted by peacay at 8:20 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, I think that people should have their kids declawed and their cats circumsized, but that's just me. AND STOP MAKING PALESTINE SUCH A BOYZONE!
posted by Afroblanco at 8:21 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Desktop users get a simple kick to the head.

and iPhone users?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 PM on July 10, 2008


...and suddenly it's a circle jerk.

This circle jerk, is it self-justifying?
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:46 PM on July 10, 2008


Yeah, if only those damn women would shut up and let the real people talk in whatever way comes naturally.

QFT
posted by stet at 8:51 PM on July 10, 2008


I'll make the iPhone users watch their precious gadget get subjected to this at gunpoint.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:51 PM on July 10, 2008


(By QFT I mean I endorse LH's sarcasm, not that I consider this to be literally true. IOW, grow the fuck up.)
posted by stet at 8:53 PM on July 10, 2008


Desktop users get a simple kick to the head.

and iPhone users?


Boot to the thread.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:53 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think it will be a long time, or never, before any such legal forays are made in Internet communities.

Well, yes, because you'd have to repeal the First Amendment.
posted by oaf at 8:56 PM on July 10, 2008


Metafilter is a cesspool of discrimination. It must be cleaned... sterilized. Such conduct should be made illegal, along with other anti-social behaviour. No one must ever become offended again*.

* May not apply to Republicans, Zionists.


Krrrlson, when I called someone out for making a 'drama queen' remark, I got nailed to the wall for it. So no one should worry about there being any semblance of thoughtpolice whatsoever on Metafilter with respect to the homophobia that has taken place here.

We should add to that the fact that you often get away with libelous accusations of anti-Semitism. So no one should believe for a second that your ridiculous asterisk somehow implies you are persecuted on this site for your political beliefs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:56 PM on July 10, 2008


Great cleavage!
posted by tomboko at 9:06 PM on July 10, 2008


I don't subscribe to the tagline "Best of the Web" at all.

Maybe you should reconsider that position.

Is it really that crazy for a woman here to say that she felt offended and objectified about a post about naked breasts and the judging thereof?

You're casting a guessing game as a beauty pageant. Maybe you should reconsider that position.
posted by oaf at 9:13 PM on July 10, 2008


"You will be missing the point. In the world of men things are not about "fair" the rules are men's rules and you and I can't change them. If you're a women, let me share with you the truth about men. If you show weakness over anything it will be exploited, you have to have a good poker face, you have to keep the cards close to your chest."

Bullshit. Those rules suck for both guys and girls. And I'm not going to bind my masculinity up in such a shabby, one-dimensional girdle.

And I've shown "weakness" to plenty of men—I've had them explain things, I've had them teach me, I've had them help me, and I'm better for it. Have I been jerked around occasionally over doing so? Sure, but mostly by assholes and I don't really feel that I'm all that much the worse for it.

You know what it takes to change the rules? People refusing to play.
posted by klangklangston at 9:15 PM on July 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'd also note that I don't think anyone has ever seriously questioned my masculinity after meeting me, showing weakness or not.
posted by klangklangston at 9:17 PM on July 10, 2008


but I don't see anybody asking anti-Republican rhetoric to be toned down

Then you have a poor memory. Among other things, I've seen you and plenty of other people fall hook, line, and sinker for nearly every instance of a certain user's "Oh, woe is me, I'm so brave and wonderful for sharing my authoritarian-libertarian views with you obstinate liberals and all I get is abuse heaped on me for it" act; the calls to not pile on conservatives and be more welcoming toward them (presumably by not using any sort of remotely strident tone in response to even their most incendiary postings) were loud and numerous in such threads.

Some of the responses to onlyconnect and other women in this thread make me think that if we made a commercial for Metafilter, it'd have be to like the Iron Eyes Cody Keep America Beautiful commercial: the point of these boyzone discussions, I believe, is not that Mefi isn't beautiful, but that we have to work hard to keep it beautiful or, better yet, make it more beautiful.

This website is something I have bookmarked to link to whenever the topic of possible insensitivity to racial issues comes up on any forum I belong to, and I think it's easily adaptable to the boyzone/gender issues threads as well. (I really, really wish I'd known about that site when I was accused by a poster here on mefi of "getting my panties in a knot" when I asked him why he'd seemingly gone out of his way to mention that someone who'd done something messed up to him was black.)

And finally: Everyone needs a hug. Like, for reals.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:21 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Men don't respect weakness in men, and in this age when women want to mix it up with the fellows confusion rains, because if you want a man to treat you as an equal, you have to take your licks like a man would.

Dude, are you high? Because what you wrote might make sense as a joke when you are really stoned, but otherwise makes you look seriously insecure.

Personally I thought the real/fake quiz FPP was kind of dumb, but not actively offensive. This site has had (and continues to have) some "boyzone" issues, but that FPP was not a prime example of those issues in my opinion.

But although I didn't flag it and wasn't offended by it, I do think that that FPP could have been deleted as simply not really worthy of being on MeFi. There are a lot of other, more interesting, photos and essays and websites about plastic surgery on the internet, and I could see that quiz being appended to a good, substantive post on the subject. But to be made the primary subject of a post? Big fat "meh" from me.
posted by Forktine at 9:32 PM on July 10, 2008


I'm still mad I only guessed 7 out of 10 correctly.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:35 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]



Bullshit. Those rules suck for both guys and girls. And I'm not going to bind my masculinity up in such a shabby, one-dimensional girdle.

That isn't even a retort, that's just "blah blah blah And I'm not going to bind my masculinity up in such a shabby, one-dimensional girdle." And thanks for telling us once again how masculin you are in person.
posted by nola at 9:46 PM on July 10, 2008


oh, christ, this again?
posted by empath at 9:49 PM on July 10, 2008


Hi everybody, editing the wiki is very easy. You just hit the "edit" tab near the top (you may need to create an account first). I've often wished that the boyzone page there was a little more substantial, and I would encourage other people to enhance it - I think keeping it free from opinion and full of links to actual MeFi / MeTa discussions is probably the most useful use for it. Wiki pages are lousy as a means of discussing things, but I think a summary / history of previous discussions, a la the GiveWell page, would be nice to have since the subject arises so often.

With that in mind, I'm going to link in some comments from this thread, like team lowkey's boyzone definition above, which seemed pretty uncontroversial. I may also just clip out the last section entirely since it's sort of old floating opinions (if I do that I'll copy it onto the discussion page). I'd suggest that if anyone wants to talk about the page itself they can do so on the wiki discussion page to keep the derail in the thread to a minimum, and I hope people who can think of especially insightful comments from past threads will link them in there.
posted by whir at 9:50 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just remember, I'm coming over soon to smash your hands/head. Sleep well!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what it takes to change the rules? People refusing to play

So you'll be cashing out then?
posted by nola at 9:53 PM on July 10, 2008


(To be clear, I know MJJ's statement was meant to be over the top, but I was/am genuinely curious about this "phenomenon".)
posted by maxwelton at 10:00 PM on July 10, 2008


Wow, this thread is awful.

If feminism bothers you so much, get the fuck off the internet, because it's here and it's not going away.
posted by sondrialiac at 10:02 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dude, are you high? Because what you wrote might make sense as a joke when you are really stoned, but otherwise makes you look seriously insecure.

I'm not sure how you're reading insecure in my comment, I was speaking as an observer of human nature. If dudes aren't like that where your from I'll gladly add that caveat to my point. It must be nice hanging out with guys that never challenge you are call you out for a preserved weakness on your part, for my part I've never been so lucky.
posted by nola at 10:05 PM on July 10, 2008


I find it far more offensively sexist when so many people imply or state outright that women are by nature more pure minded, soft spoken, and non confrontational; and that outspoken, blunt, confrontational women who have no problem telling misogynistic jackasses that they are full of baloney are the outliers- or worse, that they are unfeminine.

Point to an example of this in this thread. Someone saying "this is offensive" does not imply that outspoken, blunt, confrontational women are unfeminine. In fact, it's a pretty outspoken, blunt, and confrontational thing to say.

Just because they're not saying "fuck" doesn't mean they're somehow delicate flowers of Victorian femininity.


It's always been the case here that people, and in particular women, that promote these antiquated Victorian notions are allowed to do so with nary an objection, yet these sorts of deeply ingrained assumptions are far more harmful to the notion of women as free thinking individuals than any sophmoric bozo saying "I'd hit it".

Women complaining that something is fucked up does not harm the notion of women as free-thinking individuals. Where the hell did that even come from?

It seems to me like one more version of "women are keeping themselves down every time they complain about sexism" or perhaps "those women are whiners, I'm not, therefore I'm better than they are".
posted by sondrialiac at 10:23 PM on July 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I also don't think that all women mind or should be protected from breast oogling - by male or female viewers - as long as it's consentual.

Disembodied photos from various unattributed sources doesn't exactly scream "consensual".

I bet every single woman on there is psyched that pictures of her breasts are on that site. They probably put that on their Christmas letter.

"You'll be happy to know that approximately 60% of people think my breasts are fake. Mom, I guess your genes are just too good to be true!"
posted by sondrialiac at 10:28 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's a simple definition for y'all:

Boyzone - community behavior which discourages female participation in the site.

There. Now you can argue about that instead of the merit of the post.


My female friends and I are some of the worst critics of other women's boobs - so this might not be the best example of boyzone.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:30 PM on July 10, 2008


klangklangston: "I'd also note that I don't think anyone has ever seriously questioned my masculinity after meeting me, showing weakness or not."

To be completely fair, you have a kickass beard.
posted by theiconoclast31 at 11:30 PM on July 10, 2008


You know, I am one of those people who are usually screaming that people should be free to say what they want and others shouldn't be so sensitive. That's the way I started reading this thread, too.

But, as I read through, I started to see comments from females whose opinions I respect talking about how they felt insulted by the post in question. Then I began to wonder if maybe I had the wrong perspective on things here. While I still don't see why the site in question is a problem (like a few others, I can't click the link at work, but I don't think much imagination is needed to get a pretty clear picture), if all those women are pissed off by it, then I guess it must be offensive. It's certainly not offensive to me, but anything that involves undressed breasts is unlikely to be a problem for me, so I'm probably not the best judge of this.

Because of my lack of objectivity, I guess it seems to be a problem for enough people that it shouldn't be here. Then again, a couple of people commented at work today that I have been in a generous frame of mind, so maybe I'm just going soft (lucky nobody asked for a raise today, I guess).

Delete the fucker and then let's all go and have a drink. That's where I'm going now.
posted by dg at 11:51 PM on July 10, 2008


oh, so this is where everybody's been all day.

can we please have fewer posts & callouts like this, so people can contribute to other threads?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:06 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


i'm with dg.

mostly about the "hey - it's friday arvo & i'm going out for a drink!" but also regarding the other stuff.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:11 AM on July 11, 2008


Oh, please.

This late at night, no I haven't read the whole thread, so excuse me if I repeat someone else. I'll get up tomorrow and sloooo*sigh*ooogggg through.

This is not "boyzone," and claiming it is is heteronormative. Breasts are beautiful for anybody. As the scrupulous judgment of authentic bodies vs. the surgically altered for vanity is mildly interesting for anybody.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:16 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think that it's important that people defend their right to look at naked boobs on Metafilter as vigorously as possible, and don't shy away from telling anyone who thinks differently to get the fuck off the site - because, really, if you can't look at titties here, where can you go? Inch by inch, centimeter by centimeter, cup size by cup size, the breasts are being taken away from you. Your breastes! They tell you that you cannot haz!!!! At this rate, one day you will wake up and all the internet breasts will be GONE!

Or is this overstating a bit? If it seems like it may be exaggerated, then I'd suggest that maybe some people could dial down the panicked hostility to comments that don't necessarily fall lockstep in line with their point of view. It's just a discussion; there will still be boobs tomorrow.

As for myself: Did I think the site was gratuitous? Yes, I did. I thought the "spot the fakes" aspect was secondary to the fact that it was naked breasts. I don't think quite as many people would click so eagerly to a site that asks you to test your skill at judging fake nails versus acrylics, or weaves versus real hair.

How outraged am I about it? Pretty meh. Not at all something I would expect to see here, really, because there wasn't anything outstanding or particularly interesting, or technologically skillful, or educational, or novel, or artistic, or surprising about it. I do believe that if it weren't for the titillation factor mhmm, yeah - if it were a post linking to a non-sexy site with the same level of sophistication - it would have been nuked.

T&A on Metafilter isn't my personal cup of tea because I'm pretty much non-stop flooded with it 24 hours a day in terms of most TV, all advertising, magazines, and newspapers here. It's much, much harder not to see naked/nearly naked female jigglies in media where I am than it is to see them, and I look for a little relief from that. I'm not shocked by tittie pics, I'm unutterably bored with them.

So, no, not my thing - but every post on Metafilter doesn't have to be my thing. If it gets overrun with tits, which isn't likely, I'll leave. What I do resent about it is that it is the type of thing that subtly encourages what I really do hate with fury when I see it here, which are the true misogynist, hateful comments (fairly rare) and the reduction of any woman featured in a post (if, heaven forbid, there is an accompanying photo) to an assessment of how much anyone does or doesn't want to fuck them, or how acceptable or unacceptable their physical features are (somewhat less rare). Is posting a let's-look-at-the-fake-titties post the same thing? Of course not. Are they connected in some way? Absolutely.

Has Metafilter reduced its level of sexism as result of conversations like this? I think it definitely has. So I'm not screaming for the removal of this post, but I vehemently disagree with the people who insist that it's not a topic that should be discussed here, and that anyone who has concerns about it needs to shut up and leave. Please.
posted by taz at 1:48 AM on July 11, 2008 [20 favorites]


With that in mind, I'm going to link in some comments from this thread, like team lowkey's boyzone definition above, which seemed pretty uncontroversial.

I made a few more changes, since that definition seem overly broad and vague.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:01 AM on July 11, 2008


Breasts are beautiful for anybody. As the scrupulous judgment of authentic bodies vs. the surgically altered for vanity is mildly interesting for anybody.

Thanks for purporting to speak for me. Let me try this one more time. I have lots of interesting conversations with people here about a wide range of topics. To have the "Boobs: Fake or Not?" thread thrust into the middle of these conversations is, personally, to me (I understand it is not so for you), as though we are all sitting at a big table having a number of conversations about topics that interest us to varying degrees, and all of a sudden someone pulls out a magazine filled with pictures of naked women -- women like me -- and suggests that we discuss whether or not the naked, faceless women depicted in the magazine have real or fake boobs. To me, this behavior acts as a reminder that whatever satisfying interactions I might have here, there is still a portion of the population that wants to look at naked female torsos and thinks it's perfectly okay to pull them out right here in front of me and other women in the midst of polite conversation. I'm reminded again that I'm an object, always an object, and this reminder serves to put me in my place here.

Now, there are a number of places where people normally would not pull out and pass around these naked pictures, where it is recognized that certain societal norms keep such behavior at bay because it creates a unwelcoming or uncomfortable environment. For example, as suggested by the NSFW tag that was listed on the post, most (not all, especially for folks who work in sex-related trades) people would stop themselves from starting such a discussion at work. Or at dinner with your family and/or kids. Or maybe even with people that you don't know very well. Many of us, for example, me (and perhaps I have a low boob tolerance), would not even do this with friends.

But this is the Internet, which almost seems to have been created for the dispersal of porn and pictures of naked ladies. I get that. I understand that lots of people here are saying, hey, Internet standards are different because naked women are everywhere, and this place is so much better than Digg or Fark or [insert site that is worse than MetaFilter here].

But you know, that sort of argument -- that this is harmless behavior that is much less pronounced here than anywhere else -- was once used against women who wanted to make work and school environments free from degrading pictures of women that in many cases were put there to keep them in their place. Those arguments that it's really not so bad ultimately did not succeed. I'm not saying the Internet is the same as a work environment. But, for me, I wish Metafilter was not a place where folks were okay with assuming that, because apparently "breasts are beautiful for anybody," it's okay to post threads that make a game out of judging them. If doing so were really okay in a general context, then you wouldn't be worried about doing it at work or in other environments.

I'm regretful to clash with you on this topic again, AV, but I've been very careful to only speak for myself in this thread, and I'd appreciate it if you did not try to dictate to me the contexts under which I should feel comfortable and interested in looking at naked women's boobs. That is all.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:27 AM on July 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


Afroblanco's link to St Carlin on youtube - nice, I always liked that one. Here, let me quote a relevant bit:
"...but when it comes to changing the language they make some good points because we do think in language. So the quality of our thoughts and ideas can only be as good as the quality of our language. So maybe some of this patriachal shit oughta go away... But they take it too far, they take themselves too seriously, they exaggerate. They want me to call the thing in the street a personholecover."

Since it keeps rolling back up to the surface let me say a bit more about boyzone. Here's why I don't like it.
1) It's pathetically fluffy. It makes light of whatever you choose to call it - in a sense saying "oh it's not a real problem, it's just that boyzone thing that that group of people we wish would shut the hell up are harping on again." It insinuates that you don't take the person who's complaining seriously - and neither should anyone else.
2) It's a made-up TigerBeat-esque word, and I personally can't stand that cutesy pop style of writing. If you're too young to remember Tiger Beat get thyself to Wikipedia. Then mock me for having read it when I was 13.
3) It calls up the whole "boys will be boys" excuse.
"What, they cheated on the test? Oh well boys will be boys, pass them anyway."
"What, they accidentally killed that kid in a hazing accident? Oh they're so young - they didn't mean it - boys will be boys."
"Boys will be boys" - the excuse that gives a pass through anything, no matter if it may screw up the child even more. And of course since boys are children, you're not going to get the rational thoughts and words you'd get out of oh....adults.

I perfer the word sexism because I believe men can be targets of sexism just as much as women can. I also think it's particularly stupid to automatically think badly of all men simply because they're men. I also don't think that as a whole the men here act or treat women dissmissively simply because they're women.
But I'm not saying that no one can use the word boyzone simply because I don't much care for it.

And actually this is similar to where I am on this whole "oh look breasts" thing.
I could give a rats' ass about the post itself or the sites it links to - doesn't interest me, not here to defend them. But I don't think that simply because I'm not a fan of the content that it shouldn't be posted. I respect that some find it offensive - but I also would hope they would realize that theirs is not the only perspective. And respect that others may feel differently.

Something specific in that post that's sexist? Let us know.
Any comments in that thread that are misogynistic? Flag away, quote if you must.
But if you don't have some damn good examples? Then the next time we have a thread like this people will pay less and less attention. They'll think it's just making a fuss over nothing. Which will be unfortunate when we have a more serious issue.

We're not going to resolve the whole "looking at naked images, good or evil" debate - it's been going on for eons. But again, let's not get sexist and act like it's only something that guys do.

Oh and it's not illogical to assume that the nude photos are consentual (I was waiting for someone to notice that, and actually I cut down my previous comment to keep it shorter) - otherwise you're going to have a lot of work cut out for you, proving that every naked person on the internet was forced/tricked into having that image placed there. Some people actually enjoy showing their body to other people. (Look up your local nudist/naturalist group if you don't believe me and go chat with some of them.) Example from personal experience - I knew some women who did a fund raising event (for breast cancer) that involved posting photos of their naked breasts online. I thought it was ridiculous and undignified personally (not to mention they'll never know who ends up with those images), but I was a minority in that opinion. Point is they may regret it later, but most of those women took the photos themselves, and posted them. The ones I spoke to about it found it "fun" and "exciting." Among other adjectives.
posted by batgrlHG at 2:31 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Merely out of curiosity batgrlHG: I know you've been away from the site for ?some years until recently and that someone posted links for you in the last couple of days to three enormous threads about sexism that played out here before Xmas last year. Did you read them? I ask because I've seen a few comments from you that purport to record what the state of play on boyzone is and has been on this site and why it's not so bad etc etc. So yeah, did you play catchup already?

And, as usual, I very much admire the things that onlyconnect and taz have to say.
posted by peacay at 2:49 AM on July 11, 2008


OMG I am so outraged.

Wait, what are we outraged about this week?
posted by mullingitover at 3:03 AM on July 11, 2008


Peacay - I've actually not been away. I lurked a long time before I actually got an account here. I still do. Sometimes by the time I reach the end of a thread I haven't much to say that hasn't already been said more articulately or humorously. Then other times I post things against my better judgment, and ramble on too much. If you're trying to say I need to go read your links and be quiet, I can certainly do so.

And yes, compared to the somewhat unwelcoming atmosphere that I felt some threads could be in 2001ish - look, I actually feel comfortable commenting here. I don't feel like there are only a few women on the site. I'm not going to go research and cite the threads though. Sorry. That'd have me coming back here after a few days and by then everyone will have gone home.
posted by batgrlHG at 3:33 AM on July 11, 2008


If you're trying to say I need to go read your links and be quiet, I can certainly do so.

That's not what I said. But there is a very significant semi-recent history that informs both this discussion and the present 'state of the site' with respect to sexism contained in those threads. It's not required reading but without some knowledge of those discussions it's a tall order for someone to pass judgement on what the site "is" or "is not" with blanket statements. Perhaps read the comments here again by madamjujujive, onlyconnect and taz.

The fact that you don't think the fake or not site is any sort of problem is great. You don't see it as being another part of the world of female objectification and a reminder of the pressures many females feel on a daily basis is also great. I'm not sure your call to respect that there is a perspective that doesn't find it offensive required bold type though. We know what the rest of the internet, all the magazines and all television tells us: that chicks are for ogling so chill out to it and enjoy!

Fuck that. This actually is the fight worth fighting and shouldn't be watered down with the 'cry wolf' mentality. This is the stuff to take a stand over and face the barrage of the mocking cabal (of which there may or may not be one) and the compromisers looking for ways to rationalise why this website ought to countenance such stupid and gratuitous shit as that post. I agree with dg too (good one bro!) and therefore disagree with jessamyn in believing that the post should have been (and should be) axed.

It's not just that I don't want women whom I respect on this site to be offended. I want more women here and the less teenage boy toilet and vacuous sex humour on show, the more likely that a female passerby will decide that this site is actually worth joining.
posted by peacay at 4:36 AM on July 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


I think the post is sexist and I also think it's one of the worst Metafilter posts I've seen. It's so far from "Best of the Web" by ANY standard.

As for why I think it is sexist, well here is what I see. I see a post inviting people to gawk at women's breasts and decide if they are real or not. Now by this point it is totally possible that I am way off on this (I'm serious), but I have always associated such behavior with insult and nasty objectification of women. Having "fake" breasts is not a badge of honor in this culture, it's a reason for people to make fun of you. Of course, the aim is to have breasts that aren't noticeably fake. But here we are, trying to tear down their "delusions" by proving that those boobs are tooootally fake, ha ha. It's a shaming behavior. The women deemed to have "fake" breasts are inferior to those who have "real" breasts. And not all sexism is tied up with sex but this is one of those times when it so clearly is. "Real" breasts are supposedly more attractive than "fake" breasts. This is "Hot" or "Not" in another guise. Reducing women to their level of attractiveness. Objectification of women based on the "realness" of their breasts.

Whether it's women or men who "discuss" whether or not a woman has "fake boobs", it is never a positive thing for that woman who is being reduced to the merit of her breasts. The use of the word "FAKE" is a big clue about that. It's mean-spirited sexual objectification. That's why I think this post is sexist. Aside from that I also think it is stupid.

However, all of that said, what really punched me in the gut is this metatalk thread. Because I don't care if people disagree on whether or not the post is sexist. The real nastiness is in here. When I started reading the thread and clicked on the post link, I thought "hmm, well that's obviously a bad post, why is that still there" and I was genuinely curious because I figured there had to be a good reason, even if my own reaction was very negative. As I progressed through this thread, reading comments like "yawn, silly feminist outrage AGAIN", and seeing reasonable posters being told to leave if they don't like it, I thought I was in bizarro world.

This thread is completely disheartening. The aggression, insults and disdain on display is crazy to me. After all the discussions, we haven't figured out that reasonable people can disagree, reasonable being the operative word? "Get out if you don't like it", here, at Metafilter? It's not like this is coming out of left field, this "boyzone" thing.

Yes it's true this stuff is all over the internet but this place was supposed to be best of the web. I'm not saying that means everyone has to agree with me on what should stay and what should go, but cutting off discussion with disdain and "get out", well what kind of community is that?

Why am I trying to rationalize this? I know what kind of place the world is and Metafilter is part of it. The bad is outweighing the good when a website actually makes you feel bad. I feel bad because of the way people are treating other people, it's beyond the normal snarkiness and namecalling (I admit that I don't really like that either which is why I prefer AskMe). The website making me feel like crap isn't "Fake Or Not", it's Metafilter. For my own sake I'm not going to post here anymore.
posted by Danila at 4:44 AM on July 11, 2008 [18 favorites]


In this particular instance, I, personally, was not offended or upset, but I am glad that those who were are talking about it, and I am interested in what they have to say. Certainly, there have been things said in this and other threads that have persuaded me to think about and change some of my behaviors.

I don't think that the people who have said upsetting things in this thread speak for the entire MeFi community. They certainly don't speak for me. I speak for me. To that end, let me say something with which I expect most people to agree:

The people who have expressed their concerns about the FPP were right to have done so, because this is a community with evolving standards which ought to be examined and discussed. Although no website will please everyone, we do not welcome the departure of members who feel marginalized or dismissed.
posted by prefpara at 5:00 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Get out if you don't like it", here, at Metafilter?

Sort of seconding what prefpara said. There are a few assholes in this thread. But there are assholes in every metatalk thread, unfortunately.

I think reasonable discourse also involves not plucking out the extremist positions from the other side and using them to characterize the other side of the argument. There are other people here trying to have a conversation about this. Yet others who admit to not feeling strongly either way except that members they care about do feel strongly about it and so, heck, thats reason enough. Yet others who I think have come around in their position. I think all these other people in the thread deserve acknowledgement too. Again, if the goal is reasonable discourse.
posted by vacapinta at 5:09 AM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


A few things:

First, it's pretty clear that some really awesome females have been upset enough by comments and threads in the past to leave. These were not some uptight prigs, these were really awesome down to earth members who realy contributed a lot to the site. And they're gone, because some people on the site decided that it was okay to tell someone to stare at breasts, and proceeded to refer to them with some very imaginative, though not particularly respectful, names.

So I think we should be very sensitive to this issue, even if we want to also support freedom of speech and a feeling that MeFi doesn't take itself overly seriously. In the case of this thread, I think there are two general reactions:
  1. Some people see the site as just a game. That's why they say "Woo! 9/10!" in exactly the same way that they might say "Woo! I just hit that penguin 3000 feet!" In the latter case, they certainly aren't condoning animal abuse. They're able to separate the game aspect from what is actually happening in the game. Now, it's possible that those people who are playing the fake/real game are consciously or subconsciously objectifying the women they are looking at. But I'm guessing a majority of the people are separating the game aspect from the sexuality. I played the game, just to see what it was about, and spent maybe a second or less looking at each pair of breasts. I didn't get turned on, or even evaluate in terms of the attractiveness or unattractiveness of the woman. In a sense, I was totally objectifying because I literally was just looking at the pair of boobs and evaluating whether they were real or not--completely apart from the human they were attached to. However, in my mind the breasts in this case, both by being completely cropped and by being in this game, were completely divorced from their context of women or sexuality.
  2. On the other hand, there are some people who state that this is exactly the point. Women's bodies, or parts of them, are being treated like objects. For these objectors, it's not possible to separate the objectification from the game. They clearly find it offensive that this objectification is taking place, even if we gamers involved to perceive ourselves as objectifying or judging women. For these peolpe, the assumption that this can be a game without repercussions is a mild form of sexism, a form which, for better or worse, has been labeled "boyzone" behavior.
I'd be in the group that would say that the thread isn't "Worst of the Boyzone" although I am a bit disheartened by what I see as insensitivity to the fact that some people here were hurt by the thread. I personally really like that the thread has become an "awww memepool" discussion. I don't see many comments that are overtly sexist or offensive, although some may have been deleted and I am a dude who's less sensitive to sexist remarks. I think at the very least I can say that I'm sorry to hear that there are people who were offended by this thread, and that I am taking what they are saying seriously. I also agree with some women above who point out that stating "this is offensive to women" offends them, since they weren't offended. It's a delicate balance. On the long run, would I prefer that Metafilter be completely free from self-censorship, or would I prefer to make all members of the site feel welcome? I personally don't think the thread in question is worth leaving the site over, and I hope none of the comments above have made people want to leave either. I think we're just having a discussion here. For those of you who were offended by the first thread, and are now offended by those who appear to be belittling your opinions on this one, keep in mind that a lot of this discussion is driven by a similar, although differently directed, emotion: just as you found the first thread offensive because for you it promoted the objectification of women, many of the comments here are because the commenters were similarly offended by the idea of self-censorship and catering to the most sensitive members of the site. It's unfortunate that a lot of this got translated into "feminism is boring" instead of a more honest reaction like, "I didn't feel it it was offensive and would like to feel like Metafilter welcomes all kinds of materials, not just topics which fall into some acceptable range."
posted by Deathalicious at 5:14 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a pretty messed up society where I can't take my shirt off in public, yet people pay to see women's nipples on porn sites (or hunt them down to sneak a free peek).

I remember being at work one day, years ago, and discussing "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with my boss (we were talking about what we'd watched on TV the night before). His boss, the owner, was standing there. I said how much I loved Audrey Hepburn as an actress.

The owner piped in with "yeah, I always liked Audrey Hepburn. She had nice tits."

I was truly shocked at what he said, that in one brief remark, he had reduced one of the greatest actresses and a truly good and kind soul to nothing more than a pair of tits to be ogled. Plus, being at work, I was flabbergasted that he didn't realize how very wrong it was to make that remark there, if at all, anywhere.

When I can take my shirt off in public and not get ogled or called a slut or tramp (or arrested, in some states), I will feel comfortable with boob pictures being posted here, because it will be "meh" for everyone, not just the Europeans.

I don't expect everything here to be high intellectual discourse. I like fun stuff, I like sex and I know guys (and some women) like to look at boobs, but I am with onlyconnect here.

By all means, do not censor this site, but do not pretend the elephant is not in the room either. It's not a MetaFilter elephant, it's a societal elephant, and this is a very teensy sliver of a mirror reflecting a huge issue in society: the premise that women's bodies exist for men's pleasure only, they are there to be ogled, it doesn't matter what her face looks like, etc.

Look at whatever you want, but I ask, if it were your sister or mother on that site, would you feel comfortable gazing at her naked breasts with admiration and having others do so? If so, more power to ya, but I think the answer from many of you would be "no way! not my mom!" or "if some guy was ogling my sister's boobs, I'd beat him up!" So it's a double standard, it's okay to look at the "dirty girls" but not okay for "nice women" like your wife, your sister or your mom to be them. And not okay for in the workplace, the park, the mall, most of America's beaches, or any other public place. This site is in essence, public, as anyone can view it and anyone with $5 can post something or make comments. In that respect, this big elephant is being condoned here and then if someone objects, they are called whiners and thought police.

I'm sorry if your reaction is "go away you whining thought policewoman!" Feel free to skip over my comment and ignore it, as you are asking the rest of us to skip over boob posts and ignore those.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:23 AM on July 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


Look at whatever you want, but I ask, if it were your sister or mother on that site, would you feel comfortable gazing at her naked breasts with admiration and having others do so? If so, more power to ya, but I think the answer from many of you would be "no way! not my mom!" or "if some guy was ogling my sister's boobs, I'd beat him up!" So it's a double standard, it's okay to look at the "dirty girls" but not okay for "nice women" like your wife, your sister or your mom to be them.

Generally speaking, and for good reason, men don't want to have sex with their mother or sister, so I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Then again, I'm always confused when people want to drag the mother/sister/daughter into these discussions and use them as comparison.

I do not understand the seeming rage over this particular post. I'm not saying people aren't justified or shouldn't feel what they're feeling, just that I don't understand it. I went to the link, took the first round of tests and came away thinking "that was mildly amusing and it's always neat to see boobies". There is no feeling or thought process of "all women are sex objects for my pleasure" or anything vaguely like it.

Rather, from my perspective, it just seems as this post is just a reminder of other crappy situations and history that women have had to deal with and some women would prefer that all such instances be gone, be they major or minor. Perhaps it's just that there is so much shit for a woman to deal with the minor instances are no longer funny, or mildly amusing or even seemingly harmless. Some people have just had enough of any of it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rather, from my perspective, it just seems as this post is just a reminder of other crappy situations and history that women have had to deal with

More to the point, it's a reminder of the kind of crappy websites that used to clutter the internet in around 1998. I'm a little amazed that the FPP wasn't deleted just on GP...not because it's sexist, but because it's just...really lame.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:16 AM on July 11, 2008


"if some guy was ogling my sister's boobs, I'd beat him up!"

If I felt that way, and meant it, I wouldn't have any nieces or nephews, and that would suck.

Sexuality is a part of the human condition. And I think we can tolerate a thread about breasts or dicks or whatever - even lame ones - without falling apart. Remember that men do dumb things for vanity as well, hair implants being probably the most hilarious/ghastly. Hair implants are almost exclusively a male thing - there are some women who have the procedure but it is safe to say it's almost an exclusively male thing.

And we (society, media, etc.) make hell of fun of dude with hair implants. Is that sexist? Why not? A full head of hair is a central to a man's self-image as a sexually attractive creature as breasts are to a woman. And if we can make fun of a man for having hair implants, why not make fun of a woman for taking her perfectly normal, god-given breasts and turning them into ridiculous, unrealistic accessories?

I checked out the site and found it boring and dumb. And if I were at a party and someone whipped out a book full of pictures of breasts and said "let's decide which are fake and which are real," I'd leave. But I'd also leave if someone cornered me to talk about the TV show Dragnet or Slovenian music. That's why this metaphor fails - it's not a party. You're not being forced to interact with the stuff you hate. Skip it.

I know that there is still an insidious, nasty, depressing, pervasive sexism in the world. I deal with it all the time, and it needs to be killed. But we are tilting at windmills here. It's a lame site, and boring, but offensive? Only in the way that mediocrity is offensive.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:40 AM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Generally speaking, and for good reason, men don't want to have sex with their mother or sister, so I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Then again, I'm always confused when people want to drag the mother/sister/daughter into these discussions and use them as comparison.

I do not understand the seeming rage over this particular post. I'm not saying people aren't justified or shouldn't feel what they're feeling, just that I don't understand it.


I'm sorry, to clarify, I am not enraged over this particular post, so maybe I took the opportunity of this MetaTalk to discuss the overall issue. Your point about what women have had to deal with is spot on. I believe most guys here are very cool people, I'm sure you would be a nice person to meet in person and talk with about many things.

I was saying, in my experience, yes, it's considered okay for the men I've known - relatives, in the workplace, friends - to look at porn, but they don't want me to take my top off in public and let other men look at my breasts. But they're my breasts, not anyone else's! And that pisses me off, yes, because I had to breastfeed my kids at home, or under a blanket, in a restroom, hidden away, because people around me (except my dad, who was cool with it because he actually remembered being breastfed, yay, dad), those people, including female relatives, would be shocked or disgusted by my exposed nipple. Societal double standard.

I have to go do some things now, not interested in shaming men or pot-stirring, but if anyone wants to continue discussing with me, feel free to MeMail me. I'm not a prude, just looking for a little understanding here because I empathize with the "ick" feeling generated by this post.

Big hugs to you all! "Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow."
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:23 AM on July 11, 2008


mine's on the 45.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:24 AM on July 11, 2008




taz writes "Did I think the site was gratuitous? Yes, I did. I thought the 'spot the fakes' aspect was secondary to the fact that it was naked breasts. I don't think quite as many people would click so eagerly to a site that asks you to test your skill at judging fake nails versus acrylics, or weaves versus real hair."

Well dog toy or marital aid got 21 comments way back in '04.

Marie Mon Dieu writes "It's a pretty messed up society where I can't take my shirt off in public, yet people pay to see women's nipples on porn sites (or hunt them down to sneak a free peek)."

Come up to Canada and be shirt free when ever you want. And nipples are hardly the only images people pay to see on the internet.

Marie Mon Dieu writes "Look at whatever you want, but I ask, if it were your sister or mother on that site, would you feel comfortable gazing at her naked breasts with admiration and having others do so? If so, more power to ya, but I think the answer from many of you would be 'no way! not my mom!' or 'if some guy was ogling my sister's boobs, I'd beat him up!' So it's a double standard, it's okay to look at the 'dirty girls' but not okay for 'nice women' like your wife, your sister or your mom to be them."

This equates the reaction of a strong incest taboo with the morality of looking at naked people.

Anecdotically the only times I can remember hearing an extensive conversation about fake or real it was women doing the talking. Rarely has the authenticity of a person's anything been a subject of discussion when I'm among men.

Marie Mon Dieu writes "I had to breastfeed my kids at home, or under a blanket, in a restroom, hidden away, because people around me (except my dad, who was cool with it because he actually remembered being breastfed, yay, dad), those people, including female relatives, would be shocked or disgusted by my exposed nipple. Societal double standard."

That just sucks, many people are way to uptight about that.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 AM on July 11, 2008


For what it's worth, I thought this thread about the Sex and the City movie was way more boyzone-y than the boobies thread. Considering how hugely popular the movie is with women - even in some very feminist cirlces - it was appallingly poorly received here. Of course people would say they don't like it and that's cool and what Metafilter is about, but the sheer number of people who questioned its right to exist was mind-boggling when you consider how influential the show is in pop-culture (and how little it takes for a post to be well-received when it's about Lost, for example) and the fact that that post was the only one about the series to Metafilter ever.

To me, that's much more what I think of when I think of Metafilter being a boyzone. It is much harder to quantify than simply pointing to someone's usage of the word "cunt", though.
posted by lunit at 8:55 AM on July 11, 2008


Also, I can't believe that Danila is leaving. So sad!

Really, y'all. Sometimes MeTa makes me want to cry.
posted by lunit at 9:02 AM on July 11, 2008


"if some guy was ogling my sister's boobs, I'd beat him up!"

Purely as anecdata: my sister breast-fed her two children in public frequently and if anyone ever gave her a hard time about it I never heard of it.

Marie Mon Dieu: I'm sorry, to clarify, I am not enraged over this particular post, so maybe I took the opportunity of this MetaTalk to discuss the overall issue.

I think that happens pretty frequently and usually without people being aware of it. Sexism/sexuality/boyzone/whatever discussions always feel to me like a bunch of people yelling about their own personal experience with it, be it discrimination or PC-gone-mad without realizing it. It's very frustrating to watch and delightful to see awareness of it, thank you!

onlyconnect: To me, this behavior acts as a reminder that whatever satisfying interactions I might have here, there is still a portion of the population that wants to look at naked female torsos and thinks it's perfectly okay to pull them out right here in front of me and other women in the midst of polite conversation. I'm reminded again that I'm an object, always an object, and this reminder serves to put me in my place here.

Again, thank you for speaking so directly about your perception. I think it's immeasurably helpful to speak specifically and in detail about this kind of thing.
posted by Skorgu at 9:03 AM on July 11, 2008


err. I guess that might mean just this thread. Oops.
posted by lunit at 9:04 AM on July 11, 2008


onlyconnect: "and isn't anymore because the law said 'wait a minute; this is wrong.'

* EEOC v. Farmer Bros (1994) - Supervisor made foul comments about female employees including the size of their breasts.


Workplace.

* Lipsett v. University of Puerto Rico (1988) -- Playboy centerfolds in school dining hall and meeting rooms.

State-run educational facility.

* Robinson v. Jacksonville Shipyards (1991) -- "Extensive, pervasive posting of pictures depicting nude women, partially nude women [and] sexual conduct."

Workplace.

I think it will be a long time, or never, before any such legal forays are made in Internet communities.

Recreational discussional linklog and forum.

No one's ability to earn a living is being made hellishly uncomfortable here. You are actually advocating "legal forays" to restrict what people can and can't say in Internet communities as a good thing?

Seriously: W. T. F.? I swear to God, it's like Dubya's neocons but in a whole other subject area, instead ...
posted by WCityMike at 9:39 AM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


and how little it takes for a post to be well-received when it's about Lost, for example

Hang on, there's threads discussing Lost where it hasn't been torn to shreds? We're slipping.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on July 11, 2008


You people think too much. 273 comments.
posted by Zambrano at 9:46 AM on July 11, 2008


Also, putting aside the greatly deserved respect accorded to Danila for her history on Metafilter, really, I have nothing but disgust for the conversational tactic of a melodramatic announcement to a group that "I'm not going to post here anymore" because a personal sacred cow has been violated. (And for something to be a sacred cow, it need not be of no value.)

If Metafilter is beginning to bug you that much, install this userstyle and take a break from the site's comments (and from commenting) for a while or for good. But if your reaction to back-and-forths within the marketplace of ideas is to close down your stall, really, that's a move worthy of nothing but contempt. If you're not going to play the game, then fine, being out of the arena is probably a good move.
posted by WCityMike at 9:51 AM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can see the "boyzoniness" of the main link in the post. This I understand.

But the thread itself ... I mean, after the quite expected fowl jokes (heh heh ... ), it's mostly about memepool, unless I missed some sort of mass deletion somewhere. Really, I think the fact that that thread morphed into a touching trip down memepool memory lane instead of the stereotypical "Yay! Boobies!" fest says something positive about the boyzone factor of Metafilter.

So, anyway, those are both the cents I have.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:10 AM on July 11, 2008


... says something positive about the boyzone factor of Metafilter.

Though, unfortunately, there are aspects of this MeTa thread which do the exact opposite. I should have had that in the original comment.

Well, I'm hungry.
Gonna get some lunch.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:12 AM on July 11, 2008


That was pretty pointless, and needlessly nasty, WCityMike.

Danila says she won't be posting anymore because "I feel bad because of the way people are treating other people".

Do you really need to pop in to say how much "disgust" and "contempt" you feel for her, and advise her that she probably shouldn't comment here? She just said she wouldn't be posting. Good lord.
posted by taz at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


klangklangston: "I'd also note that I don't think anyone has ever seriously questioned my masculinity after meeting me, showing weakness or not."

To be completely fair, you have a kickass beard.


Hey now, no cheap shots about a man's wife, no matter how effiminate he may be!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:44 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


"klangy, it never fails to amuse me, given your job, how well you're able to articulate important themes revolving around sexism. Thanks for that. It's a shame that the venue is this depressingly familiar shitepox of a thread."

I think that a lot of my response here comes in some ways from being informed by my work environment—there's a lot of casual misogyny here in a lot of ways that bug me, but that I have no real power to affect. In the other thread, Artw asked if people were called "twats" in an unambiguously misogynistic way, and the answer is Yes, too often. Even some of the guys that I think are generally pretty cool and decent and don't really act in misogynistic ways fall into some pretty fucked up rhetoric on occasion. And so do some of the women here at work.

So I end up thinking about it pretty often, when, for instance, the new (female) intern acts entitled and presumptuous, but instead of telling her that, a guy that I generally respect makes jokes behind her back about forcing her to fellate him. There's a lot of sexualization of power here, and that bothers me.

And that's what bugs me about a lot of the sort of Ooh Titties stuff—there's a power dynamic there that's mostly unstated, aside from Nola's bizarro Mickey Spillane shit, and one that I don't consider fair. I have to put up with some of it at work because it's a bit of a rough and tumble environment, but I say my piece on most things there too. I can be a man without worrying that telling other guys to knock shit off makes me weak, and I can use some of my social privilege to shift how things work. I admit that I get kind of a bye, and perhaps that's why I found myself agreeing with Forktine in thinking that Nola sounded really insecure—what I do is what a guy can do or does, and I realize that by looking like what I believe my gay comrades call a "great big bear," I can sidestep a lot of the posturing for rank and shit that can and does happen. And, frankly, it's pretty freeing to have to not worry about whether someone thinks I'm a great big pussy for calling 'em out on calling co-workers cunts or twats.

That's what I meant by not playing the game. I can be one of the guys without doing that shit, and if I can, why not? What kind of coward would I be if I put up with stuff like that socially just to avoid getting some jackass pissed off at me? Fuck 'em. At work, there's more risk, but here? Here, who cares if you're manly or not? And since it's clearly not something that's immutable (which is why I don't really have any problem with the first part of "It's just natural for guys to act that way," so much as the unstated implication "and they can act no other, or it's an unfair imposition to do so"), why wouldn't I? Do I get more fun out of hassling women or having women as friends? It's not like I have to always be on afternoon tea manners with them either, which seems to be the assumption by some folks here regarding respecting others—I just have to respect some boundaries, the same way I wouldn't needle my pal about his dad dying of cancer even though sometimes I have some really wicked cancer jokes.

One more thing about where I work and sexual politics—I've noted that Forktine, who seemed to get the same vibe off of Nola, is active in the BDSM scene. From the people I've talked to who are into that, I think being involved really does shift the consciousness regarding sex and power, and the deliberate use thereof. I've said before that I tend to think of Taboo as the least offensive picture mag that I work for, given that everyone involved knows that it's all pretend. The women want to be there, they want to play at being degraded, they do this in their personal lives too. They have their limits and they explore them consciously. I find it far less bizarre than the unstated premises of Barely Legal. By making those power dynamics explicit and consensual, what's weird and exploitative is a lot more clear, and a lot of the posturing goes away, and it frees the actors from having to necessarily carry that over into any of the other parts of their lives. Once you start being conscious of, and actively manipulating, the intersection of power, masculinity and dominance, it makes you realize how arbitrary and constructed a lot of the baggage that goes with it is, and again, it's freeing.
posted by klangklangston at 10:56 AM on July 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


But if your reaction to back-and-forths within the marketplace of ideas is to close down your stall, really, that's a move worthy of nothing but contempt.

That is bullshit. Under that notion, the winner of any fight is whoever can drone on (or stand to engage with nasty idiots, not exactly a rare occurence here in Metatalk) the longest. People can step back whenever they want, and it doesn't render their opinion invalid.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:57 AM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


taz: "Do you really need to pop in to say how much "disgust" and "contempt" you feel for her, and advise her that she probably shouldn't comment here? She just said she wouldn't be posting. Good lord."

One can have contempt for an action. One can have contempt for a person. There's a distinct difference between the two, and one is far more nasty than the other. I suggest you reread what I wrote.
posted by WCityMike at 10:58 AM on July 11, 2008


onlyconnect: "To me, this behavior acts as a reminder that whatever satisfying interactions I might have here, there is still a portion of the population that wants to look at naked female torsos and thinks it's perfectly okay to pull them out right here in front of me and other women in the midst of polite conversation. I'm reminded again that I'm an object, always an object, and this reminder serves to put me in my place here.

You know, it seems to me that there are two very fundamental flaws in the approach being taken by the complainants in this and other threads.

The first is this: we control the messages that we take away from interactions. We write our own narrative. Yes, with certain things, they have such an obviously laid-out set of facts that most people's narratives coincide. (Some people feel 9/11 was a conspiracy. Some people feel 9/11 was the work of terrorist madmen. Some people feel 9/11 was when the Plutons from Zarg finally made their existence known to mankind. The 9/11 narrative in most Americans' heads, however, is one of the first two.)

Onlyconnect speaks here as to what her narrative of this link was. She took away from it the story that men want to look at naked female torsos, choose to pull them out in front of other women, and by doing so believe that she is an object and not a person.

I don't find that to be a narration useful to living life, nor do I find it to be one easily discernable from the facts of the situation. To look at her narrative:

(i) Men indeed want to look at naked female torsos. That is because the human species has a biological specieswide drive to continue to exist, and as such, there are aspects of the female physique that attract the attention of men, and there are aspects of the male physique (and of male status and of male behavior) that attract the attention of women. There has been existing and thorough analysis analysis as to why men are attracted to shapely physiques; I won't repeat it here since it's easily findable. Suffice it to say that in an alternate universe, a link was posted to PaintedOrNot.Com in which humanoid peacocks were called upon to judge whether that beautiful plumage was real or just painted. And MeTa then fielded a near-identical thread.

(ii) However, because the element of celebrating the female physique exists, admittedly massively overhyped in our culture, does not mean that the expression of that like is each and every time by each and every person objectification. Objectification is, obviously, treating someone who is a live human being as if they are an object, i.e., not a living being, not a person with feelings, soul, etc. Straight men like breasts. They almost certainly always will. They are going to express that belief repeatedly in this culture. Hell, I like them: I enjoy looking at both clothed and naked breasts. That very much does not mean that I see women as just those breasts, as just their bodies. Indeed, the mind and the personality of a woman does it for me much more than the body does. I would much rather spend the rest of my life with Lili Taylor than I would with Paris Hilton.

(iii) But I don't know the personalities of these women whose breasts are shown. I haven't lived with them, I don't know how good a conversation partner they are, I don't know if they'd show up at a date vomiting all over my slacks, and so on. Both genders, when we have nothing mental or emotional to go off of, default to the physical when evaluating the attractiveness of strangers.

(iv) The message then becomes: what does the public expression of that physical attraction mean? Does it mean that we devalue the other elements when we admire the physical?

(v) Yes, there are men who only think about how hot a woman is and treat her like an object. Very recent example in Ask Mefi, actually. To suggest that the simple expression of public enjoyment of the female physique is equivalent to that sort of misogny is taking a gray and insisting to the very tips of your toes that it is the color black. If you find that men react in anger, it is not that you are violating our sacred right to look at and enjoy da boobie. It is that you are taking the worst and most evil end of the spectrum of an emotion and insisting that this represents the entirety of the spectrum for all of us, and that's a pretty fucked-up insulting generalization.

(vi) Not to be too graphic, but there is a reason why the nipple is sensitive, and without delving into your individual sex lives, there is a reason why breast play can be pleasurable. That, too, derives from man's admiration of and love for the female breast. This is one of the "good" ends of the spectrum of that same emotion, that same desire, that same enjoyment.

(vii) Additionally, one point of her narrative is fundamentally flawed: the Internet is not the same as real life. Using real-life encounters as a metaphor for interaction on the Internet is an easy reach but it is an utterly flawed one. If I am discussing something on the same webpage as onlyconnect, I am not in front of her. She can leave the discussion silently with me not even realizing she has departed. Things I insert a hyperlink to are not being shoved into her face (indeed, it takes the voluntary action of clicking on a hyperlink to be exposed to that hyperlink's contents).

(viii) The stereotypical desirable man is embedded so firmly into American culture as is the stereotypical desirable woman. It is just not as physically based, and thus, from a Puritanical perspective, not as easily objectable. But just as there is a reason why Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty looks the way they do, there is a reason why in each and every one of those stories, it is a Prince who they end up being with. There's not a single one of those early base-memes of attraction in our culture where the rescuer is an overweight schlub from the stables with remnants of horse pucky on his face.

And believe you me, women may be sick of having the enjoyment of ample bosom paraded in their face. Men are more than a bit sick of the Prince Charming motif, too.

*looks upward at length of this post* Dear Sweet God.
posted by WCityMike at 10:59 AM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "That is bullshit. Under that notion, the winner of any fight is whoever can drone on (or stand to engage with nasty idiots, not exactly a rare occurence here in Metatalk) the longest. People can step back whenever they want, and it doesn't render their opinion invalid."

Feel as you like, TPS, but I've got no admiration for the message of, "You guys suck, I'm taking my ball and going home."
posted by WCityMike at 11:00 AM on July 11, 2008


So... tits or GTFO?
posted by Krrrlson at 11:02 AM on July 11, 2008


I've got no admiration for the message of, "You guys suck, I'm taking my ball and going home."

A message of "You guys suck, here's why, and that's why I'm taking my ball home" deserves just as much consideration as any other comment, particularly coming from reasonable people. And why bother sticking around if people are going to react to you in the way you reacted to Danila? As taz, it was unfairly nasty, and didn't even address the issue of what she was talking about. It was a cheap shot. I consider behavior like that part of the problem.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:05 AM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh and it's not illogical to assume that the nude photos are consentual (I was waiting for someone to notice that, and actually I cut down my previous comment to keep it shorter) - otherwise you're going to have a lot of work cut out for you, proving that every naked person on the internet was forced/tricked into having that image placed there.

I highly doubt that those women consented to have their breasts posted and judged on that website.

The fact that this is non-consensual grosses me out the most.

This is not "boyzone," and claiming it is is heteronormative.

I call bullshit. I'm very attracted to women and I find this offensive. Objecting to the gratuitous objectification of women does not assume that everyone involved is straight.
posted by sondrialiac at 11:07 AM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Hey now, no cheap shots about a man's wife, no matter how effiminate he may be!"

If my beard were any bigger, I'd be the governor of Florida.
posted by klangklangston at 11:11 AM on July 11, 2008


A message of "You guys suck, here's why, and that's why I'm taking my ball home" deserves just as much consideration as any other comment, particularly coming from reasonable people.

No it doesn't. Your example is passive-aggression and the exact opposite of a considered response.
posted by Skorgu at 11:12 AM on July 11, 2008


Ok, then put my example aside and look at Danila's comment.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:13 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm regretful to clash with you on this topic again, AV, but I've been very careful to only speak for myself in this thread, and I'd appreciate it if you did not try to dictate to me the contexts under which I should feel comfortable and interested in looking at naked women's boobs. That is all.

God's teeth, onlyconnect! All I said was that trying to tell the difference between natural bodies and augmented ones was mildly interesting to anybody, and that breasts are beautiful. The same things a lot of other people said. Why choose to read my comment as anything other than my own opinion? Why single me out like that?

Making a special point of telling me I don't speak for you hurts my feelings. I made a generalization, true, "breasts are for anybody, judging plastic is fun for anybody" but that is not all about how you should feel about female sexuality or the sexualized representations of women. The intended subtext of my comment was more along the lines of "Bodies, yay, plastic surgery, boo. Anybody can play!" I take it you don't agree, and I respect that.

It's not the first time I've had women here tell me that my voice is somehow less than a valid example of the feminist experience, though I have no idea how that could be, living as a woman my whole life and all.

I toe the line and call out bad behaviors here often, whether they be objectifications of women or elisions of the queer point of view. To many people, this FPP exemplified the former, but to me, the MetaTalk post exemplifies the latter. Remarking on that fact doesn't erase all my beliefs (often stated on Metafilter) about the objectification of women in visual culture. I'm just trying not to let that rancid tradition effect me personally anymore. I see breasts as breasts, beautiful embodiments of comfort and life, and not as commodities (cue reprise of "plastic surgery, boo"). Needless to say I don't watch much TV.

Comments like yours make me feel like Team Vag is thisclose to putting me on probation, no loudmouthed queer girls allowed, a most unwelcoming feeling.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:13 AM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Not sure if this is more appropriate here or in the thread itself, but FWIW, I have a hard time believing the people who claim they weren't "judging" the breasts contained in the game. Or judging the women whose breasts weren't big/perky enough to have been paid for. Or judging the women whose attempts at physical enhancement resulted in obvious asymmetry/skin stretching. Of course they were judging. Playing a game like that requires snap judgment of women's bodies, and yet so many people seem mystified that some of the female members of this community (and some of the males) take offense.

I feel sad about the disdain and hostility onlyconnect and Danila received in this thread, especially considering that theirs were among the most thoughtful, carefully-worded posts here. In particular, I can't believe the amount of effort that onlyconnect clearly put into her comments -- backing her statements, speaking for herself and not the group, and providing examples and analogies to help others, even those who might not agree with her viewpoint, to understand. Yet, evidently to many, her feelings on the issue are something to brush off or to mock. It's disappointing, and it's not how people should be treated.
posted by justonegirl at 11:14 AM on July 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Not to be too graphic, but there is a reason why the nipple is sensitive, and without delving into your individual sex lives, there is a reason why breast play can be pleasurable. That, too, derives from man's admiration of and love for the female breast."

You've confused your causes—that nipples are sensitive is not derived from the fact that men like them.
posted by klangklangston at 11:25 AM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't tease us with that GTFO, Krrrl. If only.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 AM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have nothing but disgust for the conversational tactic of a melodramatic announcement to a group that "I'm not going to post here anymore" because a personal sacred cow has been violated. (And for something to be a sacred cow, it need not be of no value.)

I can't speak for taz, but this comment made me wonder why you felt the need to burn someone when they were discussing how the site and its comments made them feel unwelcome and frustrated. There is a differenece between contempt for an action and a person, but your statement specifically points to someone discussing why sexism in the community makes them uncomfortable and you call it a sacred cow. So, you may indeed hate the action and not the person, but your statement comes off as insensitive and assholish, just the thing that the original poster stated was making her uncomfortable. Maybe you should re-read Danila's comment in order to see that her "sacred cow" is actually a very real aspect of life and not just an internet meme/game?

Also, this

Men indeed want to look at naked female torsos.

isn't always necessarily true. Maybe your assumptions are causing the problems here?

Objectification is, obviously, treating someone who is a live human being as if they are an object, i.e., not a living being, not a person with feelings, soul, etc....

Additionally, one point of her narrative is fundamentally flawed: the Internet is not the same as real life....

There's not a single one of those early base-memes of attraction in our culture where the rescuer is an overweight schlub from the stables with remnants of horse pucky on his face.

And believe you me, women may be sick of having the enjoyment of ample bosom paraded in their face. Men are more than a bit sick of the Prince Charming motif, too.


Yeah, guess so.

By the way, those Prince Charming/stable boy "base-memes" are usually termed archetypes, not "base-memes". Maybe the internet is real life after all. Or maybe Richard Dawkins really has taken over the entire world, one of the two.


I'm sorry that I have used you in this example (more than you probably care about or know), there are several others in this thread, the one from a few days ago, and elsewhere on the site who have the same problems, but yours was the last comment that pissed me off enough to type. Look at tits all you want. Men and women do it all the time, usually without anyone noticing. Just don't assume your biological specieswide drive to continue to exist doesn't make others immeasurably uncomfortable enough to leave. Ass outta you and me and all that.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:33 AM on July 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


A few things :

1) It never ceases to amaze me how often good-old-fashioned prudery masquerades as feminism. Is it like this in other western countries? You know, the ones with the boobs on TV?

2) I tuned out for a while. How many people so far have "left, never to return" because of this thread?

3) This thread has taken far longer to metastasize than the other boyzonefilter threads. Have people finally gotten sick of these threads?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:50 AM on July 11, 2008


Not sure if this is more appropriate here or in the thread itself, but FWIW, I have a hard time believing the people who claim they weren't "judging" the breasts contained in the game. Or judging the women whose breasts weren't big/perky enough to have been paid for. Or judging the women whose attempts at physical enhancement resulted in obvious asymmetry/skin stretching. Of course they were judging. Playing a game like that requires snap judgment of women's bodies, and yet so many people seem mystified that some of the female members of this community (and some of the males) take offense.

But isn't this such a broad definition of judgment that it could encompass anyone seeing any female body in any context? FWIW, I'm a girl and didn't find the site egregiously offensive. I can see how someone would find the site offensive. I don't think that disagreement on the level of offensiveness makes either of us bad feminists, though.
posted by desuetude at 11:54 AM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


desuetude, I don't think so either. I can see the argument that "yeah, to look is to judge, doesn't make it offensive or harmful," even though I might feel differently. My point was more that some people seemed to jump to point out that they weren't actually judging, which I think is disingenuous, albeit maybe an effort to separate themselves from the kind of hurtful effects that onlyconnect and others were describing.

Afroblanco, I find it kind of disheartening that, in spite of the thoughtful/thorough/articulate posts I mentioned previously, you're still choosing to stick with the "prefers people in the community to not openly objectify women = prude" conclusion. As for whether people have gotten sick of these types of threads, well, I'm sure some have. But obviously others still feel strongly about the issues therein and want to discuss them, while others are still content to crack jokes and post youtube links and write off those who do care (but not write them off to the point of, I don't know, not participating in the thread).
posted by justonegirl at 12:03 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Have people finally gotten sick of these threads?

You certainly haven't, so I don't see why the rest of us are supposed to.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:05 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "A message of 'You guys suck, here's why, and that's why I'm taking my ball home' deserves just as much consideration as any other comment, particularly coming from reasonable people."

No, not really, because even if it's coming from someone known to be a reasonable source, it's not a reasonable comment. No matter how civilized it is phrased, it's a parting shot — it's someone who wants to have the last word but doesn't want to stick around for the debate. It's an oooooooooooooooold tactic that was used all over the place on Usenet by people who just wanted the soapbox but not the exchange.

Skorgu: "No it doesn't. Your example is passive-aggression and the exact opposite of a considered response."

"Passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following authoritative instructions in interpersonal or occupational situations. It can manifest itself as resentment, stubbornness, procrastination, sullenness, or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is, often explicitly, responsible." And me expressing my disgust with her mode of departure falls into these criteria how? Or was "passive-aggressive" just the insult that sounded most intellectual to you at that moment?

klangklangston: "You've confused your causes — that nipples are sensitive is not derived from the fact that men like them."

I didn't mean to imply that, although I completely understand how I did by that sentence. Sorry. What I was trying to convey is that pleasure deriving from nipple play is a positive result of men's fascination with breasts.

sleepy pete: this comment made me wonder why you felt the need to burn someone when they were discussing how the site and its comments made them feel unwelcome and frustrated.

They weren't discussing, Pete, that's the whole point. They were leaving the website in a melodramatic fashion.

your statement comes off as insensitive and assholish

At least you didn't say "passive-aggressive." A bit more emotionally honest.

just the thing that the original poster stated was making her uncomfortable.

Most certainly not. I wasn't objectifying Danila as a woman. I was reacting to her opinions and beliefs. Just because I wasn't agreeing or validating with her opinions and beliefs doesn't mean I'm objectifying her.

"Men indeed want to look at naked female torsos" isn't always necessarily true. Maybe your assumptions are causing the problems here?

Did you see the phrase "every single man" in there? Enough men do that it's an extremely obvious societal force, enough to drive women's fashion, advertising techniques, etc. Just because someone doesn't qualify a phrase doesn't mean it's meant as an absolute.

By the way, those Prince Charming/stable boy "base-memes" are usually termed archetypes, not "base-memes". Maybe the internet is real life after all. Or maybe Richard Dawkins really has taken over the entire world, one of the two.

By the way, "internet" is usually termed "Internet." Ignoring content by criticizing word choices is about as silly as ignoring content by criticizing capitalization.

Just don't assume your biological specieswide drive to continue to exist doesn't make others immeasurably uncomfortable enough to leave.

Nice straw man simplification.

Ass outta you and me and all that.

Always thought that was one of the dumber mottos handed down throughout the ages. There's a stupidity in generalizations, yes, but everyone makes a few million assumptions a day ...
posted by WCityMike at 12:18 PM on July 11, 2008


Anyone done a comment count on these threads? We have to be nearing 5,000 aggregate by now, if we've not surpassed it ...
posted by WCityMike at 12:20 PM on July 11, 2008


My point was more that some people seemed to jump to point out that they weren't actually judging, which I think is disingenuous, albeit maybe an effort to separate themselves from the kind of hurtful effects that onlyconnect and others were describing.

That comes awfully close to equating participation with actual harm.

ThePinkSuperhero: I think announcing that you're leaving/no longer participating/taking your toys and going home is passive-aggressive, no matter the context. Yes even when I do it. It substantially hurts the chances of any good coming of the conversation and shows contempt for the participants.

I don't think this was a great thread but I also don't think it's fair to unilaterally assign fault to the zomg-not-again contingent as Danalia does. Onlyconnect opened up talking about legislation, and if there's a better way to make sure everyone stops listening and turns their Outrageotrons to stir-fry I don't know what it is. Jamjam's comment was pretty insulting to all-males-on-metafilter too. There were plenty of people shooting from the hip in this thread, from both sides.

Which is my point, pretty much. Until everyone gets tired of outrage and outrage-fatigue and outrage-fatigue-outrage, et cetera ad nauseum we're not really going to have effective discussions. Everyone brings far too much baggage to the topic, which is why I try to point out when people acknowledge that and state it outright.
posted by Skorgu at 12:30 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


sacred cow

The word "cow" is sexist and should not be used.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on July 11, 2008


Anyone done a comment count on these threads? We have to be nearing 5,000 aggregate by now, if we've not surpassed it ...

Then the issue is clearly unresovled.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:35 PM on July 11, 2008


The issue will be resolved as long as we insist on referring to body parts by anything other than their proper Latin nomenclature.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on July 11, 2008


un-resolved, that is
posted by Burhanistan at 12:44 PM on July 11, 2008


What I was trying to convey is that pleasure deriving from nipple play is a positive result of men's fascination with breasts.

"Pleasure deriving from nipple play" promotes successful nursing.

I hate to say anything which could tend to displace you from the center of your own happy little universe (though perhaps I needn't worry), but assuming you have been weaned, it's really not that much about you, baby.
posted by jamjam at 12:48 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: The issue will be resolved as long as we insist on referring to body parts by anything other than their proper Latin nomenclature.

*gets pencil out; prepares for next FPP*
OK, I'm ready... what's the first one?
posted by not_on_display at 12:53 PM on July 11, 2008


God forbid we misuse our biology.
posted by Artw at 12:54 PM on July 11, 2008


jamjam: ""Pleasure deriving from nipple play" promotes successful nursing.

I hate to say anything which could tend to displace you from the center of your own happy little universe (though perhaps I needn't worry), but assuming you have been weaned, it's really not that much about you, baby.
"

The clarification I made to klangklangston in my response to makes it pretty clear that implying causation was not what I meant. In the meantime, thanks for mixing in those Mefi Intellectual Insults™ in with your response. Snarky mockery always makes an argument look intellectually sound and its proponent reasonable, didn't you know?
posted by WCityMike at 12:59 PM on July 11, 2008


I looked it up. God *does* forbid we misuse our biology. I want you all to stop it right now - you know who you are.
posted by Artw at 1:03 PM on July 11, 2008


TPS - You're right, I am still here. But really only for the purposes of entertainment. I could give a crap if anyone agrees with me anymore. MeTa in general has cured me of that.

justonegirl - yeah, I've been horsing around a bit. God forbid people horse around in MeTa. The amount of seriousness in this thread convinces me that MORE horsing around is required, and not less.

(yes, yes, I know, this is Serious Business, and I'm supposed to take this Seriously, because your boyzonefilter is so different from all the other million plus things that people argue about on the internet and take Very Seriously)

Actually, I just like the phrase "horseplay." Haven't heard it much recently. Perhaps it's due for a comeback.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:25 PM on July 11, 2008


(when I think of horseplay, I think of wild horses running around in fields of tall overgrown grasses, somewhere out west where the land is rugged and there are bluffs everywhere. maybe they're kicking around a ball or something)

(I also think of people getting down on all fours and pretending to be horses. that's amusing, as well.)
posted by Afroblanco at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2008


TPS - You're right, I am still here. But really only for the purposes of entertainment. I could give a crap if anyone agrees with me anymore. MeTa in general has cured me of that.

I wouldn't want you to leave! It's one of those unreliable constants in life, things that will come around if you wait long enough- the subway, library holds, and you popping into these threads to wonder why anybody cares.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:27 PM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, I realize that these threads really aren't here to convince anyone of anything. They're just an outlet for people to vent their frustrations. In general, I do think that's a good and useful thing. Unfortunately, some people take them seriously and get angry and leave. But whatever. I guess that's their problem.

I guess the rule of internet humor applies. There's nothing funnier in this world than people taking things seriously over the internet - until you are that person.

We all take our turns and take our lumps, I suppose.

Written communication makes fools of us all.

(except for me, because I'm always right about everything)

(or maybe I'm just a stubborn Taurus)
posted by Afroblanco at 1:41 PM on July 11, 2008


Oh yeah, and -

Horseplay.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:42 PM on July 11, 2008


(I also think of people getting down on all fours and pretending to be horses. that's amusing, as well.)

Just so you know, in 6 months when I read about Williamsburg "horseplay" parties in the NYTimes Style section, I am blaming you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:50 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why choose to read my comment as anything other than my own opinion? Why single me out like that?

I wouldn't have had a single problem with your post if you had simply stated: "I'm a woman and I think breasts are beautiful. And I think the scrupulous judgment of authentic bodies vs. the surgically altered for vanity is mildly interesting." But you said that breasts are beautiful for "anybody," and the scrupulous judgment of fake or not fake is mildly interesting for "anybody." Why would you presume to speak for me, or assume you know what I find to be beautiful or interesting? You say that others in this thread have said exactly what you said, but I truly don't remember anyone else making blanket statements about how everyone perceives things. Honestly, that was my problem with your post.

I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings or made you feel like your voice is somehow less than a valid example of feminist expression. (If it helps, I am taking a beating in this thread and a few nice folks have even suggested I leave if my panties are really this twisty so, you know, I am not representing the majority view here, and the townsfolk are not coming for you with pitchforks.) I regret doing that. I do think that you should not have said "anybody." Because anybody includes me, and I felt marginalized by your pronouncement about how all people think. But I have no problem with you speaking for you, and I think you contribute a valuable viewpoint to this site.

I would like to come back later and respond to some of the other comments. But, 1. we are going to the movies. and 2. I'm not sure how much more energy I have left for this. Thank you to those people who have been been encouraging and civil, whether or not you have agreed with me.
posted by onlyconnect at 1:52 PM on July 11, 2008


I looked it up. God *does* forbid we misuse our biology. I want you all to stop it right now - you know who you are.

I dunno, I worship Ceiling Cat, and he seems pretty okay with it.
posted by Krrrlson at 2:10 PM on July 11, 2008


WCityMike, you are a sharp guy, and very effective in argument. Reading over your comments in this thread, I have allowed myself to dream a bit of the wonderful things I might get to read if you were a little more (of what I think of as) self-aware.

The barbs in my comment were one part from annoyance with you, one part because I think some other people needed to be defended from your attacks, and one part because I thought there was a chance a slight sting might make you widen your eyes enough to notice some things you haven't seen before, and that I would very much like to hear your perspective on.
posted by jamjam at 2:10 PM on July 11, 2008


Honestly, I'm not sure how to reply to that one. Thanks?
posted by WCityMike at 2:20 PM on July 11, 2008


"(I also think of people getting down on all fours and pretending to be horses. that's amusing, as well.)"

I that's actually called pony play.

Also, if you were offended by the post being discussed in this thread you probably shouldn't click that link, either.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:22 PM on July 11, 2008


I think that's actually, etc.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:22 PM on July 11, 2008


It would be really nice if the concept of debate wasn't so fatally tied to winning and losing, but rather a process of finding common ground or lack thereof but all the while not trying to be superior.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:24 PM on July 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


I that's actually called pony play.

Not my personal cup of tea, but they certainly appear to be having fun.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:28 PM on July 11, 2008


sondrialiac writes "I highly doubt that those women consented to have their breasts posted and judged on that website. "

Are you saying you think the pictures were taken on the sly via hidden cameras or other nefarious means? Because the vast majority of naked pictures on the net are commercially sourced and the people in those pictures will have signed model releases consenting to just that. Now the pictures may be infringing on copyright, that's pretty common. However it's unlikely a significant portion aren't covered by a release.
posted by Mitheral at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2008


Or full release, depending on one's orientation.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:59 PM on July 11, 2008


onlyconnect, I direct you to the difference in meaning between "anybody" and "everybody."

Breasts didn't use to be for anybody; they used to be for men. You don't have to look at breasts or enjoy seeing them just to take full advantage of the advances of feminism. However, feminism's attack on the visual representation of women as objects in our culture has created a two-faceted result: the objectification of women is BAD, but even better, and the subjectivity of women is GOOD. It used to be that we existed to be seen, but now we exist to see AND be seen. (I'm using caps because I get excited) Feminism is an egalitarian discourse because of the freedoms that it created for anyone: anyone is allowed to look and anyone is worthy of being looked at. No one has to be defined by the look.

That doesn't alter the validity of your evaluation of whether a given image, book, or website is demeaning. That's context-specific, it's personal. And I will grant that there is inherent objectification in the way women are often presented only as parts, as in this boob quiz.

I'm reminded, actually, of the movie Wedding Crashers, which got me het up and pissed for having a meaningless titty montage in the middle. Topless, nameless, one-night stand women flopping down on to beds. For about 3 minutes. That was gratuitous and unfunny and made me feel more excluded as an intended audience member than engaged. But I didn't have to click on that, and it wasn't a surprising, frustrating, thought provoking test of my boobdar. That test put my attitudes about the look of fake boobs under question, that's for sure.

But, onlyconnect, we can disagree on all that and agree that some of your treatment here is CLASSIC BOYZONE. Don't let it get to you. *fist bumps her sista*
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:41 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


they used to be for men

Do babies know this?
posted by Dave Faris at 4:56 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because I was critical before, I want to say, to whomever has been updating the wiki page on this -- thank you very much. It makes me feel much better to see the page deal with the issues raised without claiming that some topics, like politics, are "male."
posted by prefpara at 5:06 PM on July 11, 2008


male gaze ftw!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 5:10 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm. If you had asked me if I had ever seen Wedding Crashers I would have said no, but now I remember being annoyed at the exact bit that Ambrosia Voyeur brings up. Thank heavens for that, otherwise I might have been unknowingly roped into seeing it again.

YAY FOR THIS THREAD
posted by oneirodynia at 5:12 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


to whomever has been updating the wiki page on this -- thank you very much.

If you click on the edit tab, it'll show you the complete history of whose edited the page.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 PM on July 11, 2008


oneirodynia: I would have just shut my eyes, but I was afraid I would miss a glimpse of a Wilson brother, and that would be a daaaaamn shame. :P
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:22 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


male gaze ftw!

You know, that's a lot funnier if ftw is standing for Fuck The World.

male gaze ftw in the ear!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:23 PM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


If you click on the edit tab,

No, the history tab, you twit!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:25 PM on July 11, 2008


It was a long time after I first encountered FTW that I found out that it meant "for the win", so I still, despite knowing better, always think of it as meaning "fut the whuck"—some flabbergasted intensified version of a vanilla WTF.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:31 PM on July 11, 2008


Sorry to get back so late. Real life got in the way of my "non-real life" activity.

This sentence from you within the context of your argument, "Men indeed want to look at naked female torsos," does actually lead the reader to feel that you have included every male, especially when you bring up how Prince Charming hurts "men" at the end:

And believe you me, women may be sick of having the enjoyment of ample bosom paraded in their face. Men are more than a bit sick of the Prince Charming motif, too.

Since you're now saying that "men" is not "every single male," I'm not sure how to argue against anything you've brought up. How is that a straw man? What have I misrepresented? Does "men" really mean "you," "dudes I know" or "archetypal males"? "Every man" is inherent within the argument you're making. If you're not including "every man," then why don't you just say who it is you have in mind in the first place? I'm also not sure how this is silly since words are the basis for argument on MetaFilter.

More importantly, my argument wasn't that you were objectifying Danila, it was that you were just being insensitive and an asshole, something you seem to take some pride in.

By the way, "internet" is usually termed "Internet." Ignoring content by criticizing word choices is about as silly as ignoring content by criticizing capitalization.

Ah, you're right, it should have been "Maybe the Internet is real life after all." I forget that one sometimes. Thanks! However, again, I'm also not sure how this is silly since words are the basis for argument on MetaFilter and being clear seems to be the best way to argue a point, rather than just throwing out the same hackneyed accusations about straw men. For instance:

Just don't assume your biological species wide drive to continue to exist doesn't make others immeasurably uncomfortable enough to leave.

Nice straw man simplification.


Really? I thought of it as more of a possibly-too-vague ad hominem one myself.

What's really sad looking over this thread is how defensive and dismissive and generally shitty so many guys are deliberately being, and how eloquent and patient so many women have been in reply. Many intelligent, funny, good women (and men who can't stand this shit either, for that matter) have left over the years, and so many of you guys shrug or think it's hilarious. Who's going to answer all your questions about why you guys are so lonely and loveless when they're all gone? Not me, that's for fucking sure.
posted by sleepy pete at 6:28 PM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


The issue will be (un) resolved as long as we insist on referring to body parts by anything other than their proper Latin nomenclature.

No. No. No. I'm not giving up using the words "winkle" or "poophole" or "hoo-hoo."

Anyways. "Poophole" was used by the Romans. In more ways than one.
posted by tkchrist at 6:33 PM on July 11, 2008


... if ftw is standing for Fuck The World.

I actually thought it did until ... well ... yesterday.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:39 PM on July 11, 2008


This sentence from you within the context of your argument, "Men indeed want to look at naked female torsos," does actually lead the reader to feel that you have included every male, especially when you bring up how Prince Charming hurts "men" at the end:

There's an exception or multiple exceptions to nearly any rule. Yet common conversation between people doesn't find it necessary to specifically iterate the existence of those exceptions. When someone says "men have penises," this statement means "a vast majority of men have penises, and the typical male on the street can be expected to have a penis." Now it's not quite as surefire when it comes to wanting to look at naked female torsos, since men can also be gay, but in all of these cases, society does not find it necessary for understanding to say, "All men have penises, except those men who have been castrated or who are pre-op F2M transsexuals or ... ".

I'm also not sure how this is silly since words are the basis for argument on MetaFilter.

It's silly when someone pretends not to understand one of the common (if unspoken) rules of conversation for the purpose of attempting to deflate an opposing argument, which, honestly, is what I feel you've been doing.

More importantly, my argument wasn't that you were objectifying Danila, it was that you were just being insensitive and an asshole

Your statement was: "your statement comes off as insensitive and assholish, just the thing that the original poster stated was making her uncomfortable." The original poster wasn't Danila -- it was anastasiav, and they specifically stated, "I, personally, have no strong feelings one way or another." So I assume by "original poster" you were speaking of Danila. So, you either were misstating what Danila said, or was accusing me of being what Danila said. Danila used these terms: "sexist", "nasty objectification of women", "reduced to the merit of her breasts", and "mean-spirited sexual objectification." I wasn't displaying same.

She also, by the way, disliked "insults." It's worthwhile to then note that this is the second time you've called me an asshole. I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop it. I've repsonded to your ideas here, and not made an ad hominem attack against you as a person. I think it's very reasonable to expect the same from you.

something you seem to take some pride in.

So now not only am I an asshole, but my value system is such that I consider the behavior of an asshole to be something to be proud of? The fact that you resort to these kind of insults speaks more to your makeup than to mine.

I'm also not sure how this is silly since words are the basis for argument on MetaFilter and being clear seems to be the best way to argue a point

It is a silly tactic to use when, as a argumentive tactic, you make fun of a spliced-together word used by the opponent. Yes, I used "base-meme" instead of "archetype." That doesn't weaken my argument, it just means that at the time the word "archetype" eluded me. I responded to this by drawing an analogy between capitalization and word choice. The fact that you spelled Internet with a lowercase letter didn't weaken your argument at all, because I understood easily what the word was. The fact that I used the word "base-meme" instead of "archetype" didn't weaken MY argument at all, because you obviously understood easily what the world was.

What's really sad looking over this thread is how defensive and dismissive and generally shitty so many guys are deliberately being, and how eloquent and patient so many women have been in reply.

See, this is the kind of thing that gets my goat. One would look at this and, if not careful, think it's a cognant argument. It's simply name-calling. Those who disagree with you are "defensive" and "dismissive", and those who agree with you are "eloquent" and "patient."

Of course, you make the point even more sharply for me when you then degenerate into profane and obvious (instead of pleasantly phrased) insults and ad hominem demonization, where those who disagree with you are doing so because they "think it's hilarious"; that those who disagree with you are all "lonely and loveless"; and that those who disagree with you are being "generally shitty."
posted by WCityMike at 7:36 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you know WCityMike, I'm sorry that I forgot the golden rule of internet bullies is that when the tables are turned, they automatically poop their pants. I'll stop poking you with a stick now. Have a good weekend.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:01 PM on July 11, 2008


WCityMike, you've addressed me directly a few times so here are a few thoughts.

1. I think you may be missing sleepy pete's point about Danila. Danila went fishing not because of the boobs post, or because of any objectification of women here, but because of the dismissive treatment she felt that women who posted in this thread were receiving. To me, your treatment of her departure was dismissive -- the very thing she complained about in this thread -- because your main reaction to it was "disgust" and "contempt" for the "melodramatic announcement" and your conclusion that for anyone who chose to leave that way (including, obviously by implication, Danila), leaving was a "good move." To me, that was a barely polite way of saying, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass." And dismissive.

2. You distinguished the cases involving boobs on display that I mentioned upthread from the Internet situation here, because those cases involved work and school environments. Did you notice that I distinguished them on those grounds too, and specifically said that I was not taking the position that the Internet was the same as a workplace? I have no desire to sue Metafilter. My point in raising these cases was to say that displaying boobs in those places used to be accepted, and that although women used to be told to suck it up and deal there, prevailing norms ultimately changed, and may change on the Internet, too.

I have more to say on your longer comment, but not tonight.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:52 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Maybe I should add, just to be clear, that I have no desire, or grounds, to sue Metafilter.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:00 PM on July 11, 2008


I've been stewing over one of onlyconnect's earlier statements: I'm reminded again that I'm an object, always an object, and this reminder serves to put me in my place here.

In order to be reminded that you are an object, you have to have originally thought you were an object in the first place. Where did you get that from? If you're projecting it onto Metafilter, then it's due to your own history, your own experiences, and your own insecurities. I, as a woman (and a woman who has had extensive experience with sexual harassment, even abuse), have never felt that Metafilter treated me as less of a person because of my gender (and I have participated in several of the "sexism" threads, some of which I was attacked in). Metafilter may have more male members than female members, but the vast majority of members don't react to people based on gender.

I'm baffled, honestly, by the women here who state that they've been mariginalized by virtue of their gender. Jessamyn is a woman, and a moderator, and she can certainly hold her own against any "boyzone" behavior.

Sure, there've been random examples of sexism and immaturity in Metafilter, but that's a reflection of real-life. We gals are just as guilty of making the same kinds of judgments about men (whether it be an "ohh he has great pecs" comment about a celebrity or a "men are clueless" comment in a relationship post, etc.).

I guess what I'm trying to say is: Pick your battles, girls! There are more important issues out there than "Look at the boobies" posts!
posted by amyms at 12:33 AM on July 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Danila wrote...
This thread is completely disheartening. The aggression, insults and disdain on display is crazy to me.

Amen.

After all the discussions, we haven't figured out that reasonable people can disagree, reasonable being the operative word?

It does boggle the mind, doesn't it? One wonders if large open internet communities are truly viable in the long run, or if the natural evolution will be for the reasonable people to create private enclaves. Bummer, if so.

There are some truly petulant shitheads on Metafilter, and while I would love to claim that the troublemakers are all new people, it's really the same people who have dogged the other threads on this topic as well. Social grace continues to elude so many people, and in its stead is some sort of dogmatic insistence on the way the world must be, pleasant or unpleasant, right or wrong, and without regards to even their own happiness.

One wonders if it's a simple lack of imagination -- an inability to grasp that the text on the screen really does represent the words and thoughts of human beings? Or is it that the medium by its nature attracts people who are unused to and uncomfortable with human intimacy?

Either way, it's clear that the richness of human connection has been denied to a noticable minority of Metafilter users, and equally clear that those users will remain a vociferous irritation to people who believe in considerate and reasoned discussion of charged issues. I can't say I disagree with your choice to leave them behind, although I do at least hope you will continue to be part of AskMe.

Regards,

-Tim
posted by tkolar at 1:29 AM on July 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


Marie Mon Dieu: "... And that pisses me off, yes, because I had to breastfeed my kids at home, or under a blanket, in a restroom, hidden away, because people around me (except my dad, who was cool with it because he actually remembered being breastfed, yay, dad), those people, including female relatives, would be shocked or disgusted by my exposed nipple. Societal double standard..."
That is sad - public breast feeding doesn't seem to be a problem here (these days) and I often see women openly doing so in places such as shopping centres. Interestingly enough, the rooms that are set aside for that purpose in such places seem to be rarely used for that, I assume because women are less inclined to feel the need to hide themselves away these days. I wonder if this is tied to the general attitude about public breasts here - apart from seeing them all over the place on TV after 9pm, it would be unusual to take a walk along the quieter sections of our beaches and not see a wide array of breasts in all shapes and sizes. Although it's technically illegal, it is generally ignored as long as women don't walk down the main street exposing their breasts.

I have now had a chance to look at the site that sparked this discussion and have to agree with taz even more stridently than I usually do - the site is tacky and in poor taste and has no place on MeFi for reasons that have nothing to do with exposed nipples - it's a pretty sad piece of shit overall. But then, maybe I'm setting standards for MeFi that are no longer appropriate. I guess, though, that I have no cause to complain given some of the things I have posted here. I still can't see what the big deal is, but the fact that some of my favourite female persons think it is makes it a problem for me. I'm sure they would say the same if I was offended by something posted here, although my mind boggles somewhat to think what that might be.
posted by dg at 2:44 AM on July 12, 2008


> Yeah, you know WCityMike, I'm sorry that I forgot the golden rule of internet bullies is that when the tables are turned, they automatically poop their pants. I'll stop poking you with a stick now. Have a good weekend.

Excellent. Way to drive home my point. My sincere thanks.
posted by WCityMike at 7:32 AM on July 12, 2008


To me, that was a barely polite way of saying, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass." And dismissive.

Indeed. In fact, I almost typed that very phrase. But it wasn't dismissive because she was a woman. It was dismissive entirely because of her style of departure. I would feel that way towards a man or a woman who left Metafilter with a melodramatic departing post such as the one she left.

Did you notice that I distinguished them on those grounds too, and specifically said that I was not taking the position that the Internet was the same as a workplace?

I did not, and missed that point entirely. Sorry.
posted by WCityMike at 7:36 AM on July 12, 2008


> Yeah, you know WCityMike, I'm sorry that I forgot the golden rule of internet bullies is that when the tables are turned, they automatically poop their pants. I'll stop poking you with a stick now. Have a good weekend.

That comment above wasn't meant facetiously. I love it when I back someone in a corner sufficiently debatewise that the true malicious attitude in their heart which has been being disguising by pretty intellectual words comes out and they leave the debate with an insult, especially one as childish and nonsensical as this. *checks underwear* Yeah, I'm good.
posted by WCityMike at 7:38 AM on July 12, 2008


Sigh.
posted by tkolar at 9:09 AM on July 12, 2008


The latest comics thread is a good boyzone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:47 PM on July 12, 2008


...in that?
posted by Artw at 10:12 PM on July 12, 2008


thread, not the comment I stupidly linked to.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 AM on July 13, 2008


-Shrugs- Maybe not everyones cup of tea, and its a bit of a male skewed field, but I know women who can over-discuss the relative merits of slightly ridiculous fictional characters with the best of them.
posted by Artw at 8:49 AM on July 13, 2008


Jessamyn is a woman, and a moderator, and she can certainly hold her own against any "boyzone" behavior.

Yes. Yes, she certainly can.
posted by not_on_display at 10:21 PM on July 13, 2008


Right. Well, as long as this has provided you with the opportunity for some in-joke telling and hilarity, I guess it was worth it.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:02 AM on July 14, 2008


What kind of an inside joke is that? I thought it was pretty common knowledge that moderators get flack, and that when women get flack, it gets gendered. I'm not presuming anything when I say that Jessamyn's been called nasty, offensive things by mefites, she's mentioned such treatment herself.

So not only does Jessamyn hold her own in terms of not breaking down and leaving, she has to do so without abusing power, which is an even better signal of character. You don't have to date her to know that.

However, though I think her levelheadedness makes her a role model, the rest of the women here can hardly look only to her for guidance on how to react to sexist behaviors here, since we do not have her unique individual policy-setting power in reserve. We have to comment, memail, or flag, as we sit alone at our computers, possibly outraged or uncertain, with no guaranteed outcome. It's a different set of challenges.

I guess I just don't get where your sarcasm is pointing, onlyconnect. You think this thread wasn't worth it, that it had no value? That's a shame, but given that it's this thread where you've faced that challenge, and gone out on a limb expressing your dissenting view, I can't help but wonder what your objective, above and beyond expression, was.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:48 PM on July 14, 2008


This thread has had anti-value.

It has largely served as an example of how children who never made it past the "You're not the boss of me!" phase with their parents go on to be unable to carry on adult conversations.
posted by tkolar at 1:56 PM on July 14, 2008


They'll be storming off in a huff next.
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on July 14, 2008


I read n_o_d's comment as a sort of double entendre that seemed misplaced in the context of this thread, particularly given his authorship of the original post. I sincerely apologize to n_o_d if he didn't mean it that way, and was just making a straightforward assertion, as Ambrosia Voyeur suggests. We've communicated by memail and I hope n_o_d and I are okay.
posted by onlyconnect at 3:02 PM on July 14, 2008


They'll be storming off in a huff next.

As opposed to speaking their pieces and reluctantly severing ties with a broken community? Probably.
posted by tkolar at 3:07 PM on July 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


I sort of read it as a winky "yeah she's great isn't she?" line personally, but then I can be sort of full of myself. I seem to recall one or two "NortonDC is such a hottie" comments in MeTa years ago that I sort of lump in the same category. I know it's a little different in terms of context and audience but my general read is "happy people say weird things." I think we're all okay here, at least from my vantage point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:34 PM on July 14, 2008


I typed that comment and hovered over it for about a minute before deciding to hit the post comment button. It was parts statement of admiration for being able to handle you lot, parts me being mischevous and double entendrish, parts hug and "wink wink." I can totally see how onlyconnect felt like it was a little salt in the wounds after pouring so much of her self and time on this thread. I don't like to partake in threads like these, and usually skip over them entirely (and would have had I not been the initial cause); though I think they do serve a valid purpose in a community setting--necessary for some people if they need to vent emotionally, state or affirm or defend their beliefs, etc.--like people do when they all live in the same area, sharing resources. Which I find MeFi to be a good one, a resource.

But yeah, happy people say weird things, and I'm happier than usual. Me and onlyconnect are cool, we'll buy each other a beer if we meet one day.

Again, have fun y'all, don't take this whole world too seriously, go outside and take a long walk if you need to, and hugs.
posted by not_on_display at 10:06 PM on July 14, 2008


No-one reads down this far so I'd just like to say boo yah sucks to you. Whoever you might be. I'd like to offend everyone but I'm not very controversial except that I'm an Australian Feminist which makes me very special indeed in this rarified environment (apparently). I don't find boobs offensive! I think people who think only in terms of sex are weird! I like exclamation marks (and brackets)!

And I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that I think fake tits that are supposed to look fake are weirder than people farting in cakes (regardless of gender).
posted by h00py at 6:21 AM on July 18, 2008


h00py writes "No-one reads down this far"

Really?
posted by Mitheral at 7:09 AM on July 18, 2008


I sometimes forget about 'recent activity' until I use it myself. Hey ho. I was just pressing the <>
Hanging on the end of threads can be fun sometimes.
posted by h00py at 7:22 AM on July 18, 2008


Sigh. Never mind me. Thread hanging on terminated by lame typing skills.
posted by h00py at 7:37 AM on July 18, 2008


Really late, but I'll add my two cents. I don't really participate in MeFi anymore because I don't feel it's a place where anyone respects anyone else's opinion. It's an echo chamber of argument. Since snark is not discouraged (and I understand it can't really be policed), it creates this environment of disrespect. And I have other boards and people in real life who DO respect my opinions about everything, including, yes, feminism. The atmosphere combined with the exasperation over those silly feminists who DO get upset about sexist comments and posts really make me feel unwelcome and, well, the continuing argument over this stuff is simply boring and not going anywhere. So I read occaisonally and I still dearly love Ask. But I don't feel like seeing the same thing repeat itself over and over and watch even more wonderful female users leave because they weren't being treated seriously, or at the bare minimum, politely and with respect.
posted by agregoli at 10:12 AM on July 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


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