AskMeFi help and then some March 19, 2011 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Just highlighting the community support provided in this AskMeFi question. It was mentioned on The Hathor Legacy yesterday.

"Go Metafilter! Mefites help a young woman afford an abortion and provide validation that her ex is a horrid person. Lots of REALLY great discussions highlighting why access to safe, legal, affordable abortion is such an important right. Go hug someone today!"

I saw the question and initial answers when it was posted a week ago but I hadn't seen or heard about the outcome until now. I thought it warranted a mention here on MetaTalk.

So many members so quick to offer IRL support to the asker - it clearly made a big difference to her and it shows the genuine caring and desire to truly help that I think informs the best impulses when answering questions on AskMeFi.
posted by flex to MetaFilter-Related at 7:46 PM (49 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

I fucking love you people.
posted by ColdChef at 8:16 PM on March 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't know how I missed that thread but my god I love you all.
posted by annathea at 8:20 PM on March 19, 2011


I hope she's doing okay and that things continue to get better for her. I'd love to hear an update.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I didn't have anything relevant to offer so stayed out of that thread, but am very happy to see that it seemed to play out with so much kindness and love.
posted by Forktine at 8:54 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I feel like what I really need is someone like Kurt's father (I never had anyone who really believed in me) to tell me to be strong, that I matter and that I need to keep moving.

It wasn't appropriate to say so in the thread, but I'd like to take this opportunity to propose a sort of library system where you could loan out a kindly parent-figure to give you an uplifting pep talk and a hug as needed. Burt Hummels for all!

And yes, this was one of the threads which made me happy to be a tiny part of this community.
posted by jaynewould at 8:58 PM on March 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I missed this thread but this is one of the many reasons why I love this community.
posted by arcticseal at 9:01 PM on March 19, 2011


I've been thinking of taiscape all day and hoping she's doing well and wanting to give her a big hug. I'm so glad this is a community that responded with such compassion and support for her in such a difficult time!
posted by scody at 9:08 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, I totally missed this, but I wish I could have sent a few bucks before she closed her ChipIn. Taiscape, I hope it went as well as possible, and if you're ever in New York I'll buy you a beer.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:13 PM on March 19, 2011


By the way among the same lines, what happened to that women who was trying to leave her abusive boyfriend? I knew people on here were offering physical help with that.
posted by wheelieman at 9:15 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just cannot believe that there is anyone naive or stupid enough to think that they'd be able to get out of child support by simply presenting a notarized document saying that they'd urged the woman to abort. Where did this dude do all this supposed research, "mens rights" sites?
posted by Rhomboid at 9:16 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh man, this is totally heartwarming story. And it's got a proper villain to despise!

Everyone who participated in that thread is a wonderful human. You all rock. And so does taiscape's roommate. And taiscape, for having the courage to reach out to people in a rough situation.

Next time someone asks me why I think MetaFilter is so damn great, I'll tell them this story.
posted by Kattullus at 9:27 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


We do some things really, really, really well. When it comes to helping people in need, this community pulls together like almost no other. Kindness, compassion, community...when someone needs it, Mefi always seems to be able to offer it. Thanks for being you, y'all.
posted by dejah420 at 9:27 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


My guess--based on similar situations I've been privy to--would be that her ex didn't actually believe that. He just wanted her to believe that. My impression of him given the information in the thread is that he seems to be what the most civil people in my family refer to as 'an unfortunate human.'

And by 'unfortunate' they do not mean 'unlucky.'
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 9:28 PM on March 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


I just cannot believe that there is anyone naive or stupid enough to think that they'd be able to get out of child support by simply presenting a notarized document saying that they'd urged the woman to abort. Where did this dude do all this supposed research, "mens rights" sites?

Pants-On-Fire Research Inc.
posted by juv3nal at 9:31 PM on March 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wow, what a thread. All the kind-hearted people here are why I like this place so much. Taiscape, I am glad you reached out for help--you are stronger than you might believe you are. I hope you are doing OK today.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:39 PM on March 19, 2011


Yep, that thread reminds me why I keep coming back.
posted by schyler523 at 9:50 PM on March 19, 2011


Hey cool -- I heard some of that story from some of the local folks who were helping out. Good job team.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:53 PM on March 19, 2011


[ this is good ]
posted by holgate at 11:41 PM on March 19, 2011


this makes me very proud to be part of this community. To Taiscape, and all the people who supported her: you guys are all made of 100% pure awesome.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:10 AM on March 20, 2011


I only saw this via ColdChef's tweet and I'm so glad. I'm going through a rough patch myself at the moment and this has been a real boost.
I was slightly saddened that taiscape felt nervous of going in a car with a stranger (although I completely understand it!) as I never think of Mefites as strangers.
Over the years I've hosted you in my home, loaned you money, gave you money, doled out some advice, recommended you for that job that was going, met up in various cities around the world, all because what I get is so much more.
Metafilter offers of itself each & every day, true gems:

When we get all GRARY as we inevitably do I think of WB Yeates

"Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

so everyone needs a hug. Really glad taiscape got her hugs!
posted by Wilder at 2:51 AM on March 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Ha, thanks for reminding me of looking into that thread again. Awesome!
posted by Namlit at 3:57 AM on March 20, 2011


her ex is a horrid person.

Sorry if I don't share the glee over judging someone we actually don't know jack shit about. I'm glad taiscape got the help she needed, but our ability reach conclusions about people who haven't told their side of the story is hardly a feature of our community.

I know I'll probably get flamed for stating this opinion, but that's pretty much all I have to say, so I do not intend to respond.
posted by Dano St at 4:52 AM on March 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


One thing mefi does very well is self - congratulation.
posted by spitbull at 4:59 AM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sorry if I don't share the glee over judging someone we actually don't know jack shit about.

Presumably, you aren't calling taiscape a liar here, are you? Because that would make you at least as big an asshole as the boyfriend, IMO.

So given that the asshole hasn't actually been named, we're not actually judging a person. Rather, we're judging an ideal type -- the kind of man that, when his partner is at their most vulnerable, withdraws all emotional support and resorts to dishonesty and manipulation in an attempt to get his own way.

That said, I'm sure taiscape's boyfriend would be welcome to come along and share the reasons why he behaved the way that he did.

I'd be happy to stump up the $5. But I don't expect to see the slimeball take advantage of that offer any time soon.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:18 AM on March 20, 2011 [12 favorites]


That's a wonderful response by the community. Really great to see. Truth is often stranger than fiction so while I see some things that make me wonder, the whole situation is probably completely as depicted. The meth story is proof of that. Talk about chilling. Everyone needs a hug, and mefi just delivered a gigantic one.
posted by cashman at 5:48 AM on March 20, 2011


He may be a slimeball, but let's try not to take too much glee from slamming someone none of us know. It's one thing to offer support to taiscape, but it's another thing entirely to pile on an invisible enemy. It doesn't reflect well on us to be petty and vindictive like that. Let's please take the high road.

But if you must, condemn the actions, not the person. It's a good general rule. Even "good" people make bad decisions, and plenty of "bad" people realize the error of their ways and straighten up. But that's only possible if they realize it's possible, and that they don't have to be ruled by their former bad choices. It's part of the whole, "Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle," thing. A lot of times, folks just like you or me do really rotten things out of fear. It's only by being open and understanding that we can provide the environment for these people to own up to their mistakes and change them. Yeah, sometimes it's hard, but part of being a good person yourself is not getting caught up in all that negativity.

I'm not trying to justify this guy's actions. What he's done and how he's behaved is pretty reprehensible. But please, let's not let this wonderful community action take on a nasty undertone. Again, the high road. Be the better person.
posted by Eideteker at 6:21 AM on March 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Presumably, you aren't calling taiscape a liar here, are you? Because that would make you at least as big an asshole as the boyfriend, IMO.

Presumably, you are not putting words in Dano St's mouth - or calling her an asshole - because I did not see her calling anyone a liar. Her simple point seems that there are usually two sides to every story and that this community seems all too often content to listen to only one of them before drawing conclusions.
posted by three blind mice at 6:22 AM on March 20, 2011


I missed it somehow when it was happening, but damn, what an exciting thing unfolding in real time -- not just the problem and resolution, but "hearing" taiscape gain critical insight! Just from a purely narrative perspective, I remain on the edge of my seat! How is taiscape? I sure hope she lets us know. Oh, and her words, from word one, had the ring of truth so I wouldn't be too protective of the Ex. Notary, my ass.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:34 AM on March 20, 2011


Like Wilder, I had completely missed the thread until ColdChef tweeted about it last night. MeFi does "people from the internet pulling together to help someone" in a way that is exceptional.

Before we all get caught up in debating whether or not we can have an opinion about the ex, can I remind people that the "ex is a horrid person" statement came from the link flex posted, and not from here? AskMe isn't a court of law, or a newspaper. It's not about getting all the facts or understanding both sides of the story. It's about one of us needing help, asking for it, and getting it.
posted by ambrosia at 6:52 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


AskMe isn't a court of law, or a newspaper. It's not about getting all the facts or understanding both sides of the story. It's about one of us needing help, asking for it, and getting it.
posted by ambrosia at 6:52 AM on March 20 [+] [!]


What on earth could this possibly mean?
posted by proj at 7:31 AM on March 20, 2011


That was a good example of relaxing the AskMe rules & allowing "answers" to stand that didn't address the question. Not that there really was a concrete question, mind you, other than a generalistic "Please give me some guidance" (part of the territory in RelationshipFilter), along with a chatfiltery request to hear other peoples' stories.

All in all, a good outcome.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:32 AM on March 20, 2011


Should've previewed.

What on earth could this possibly mean?

AskMe's supposed to be about answering concrete questions, not deciding whether or not the ex is truly a douche (unless "Is my ex truly a douche?" was the question)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:35 AM on March 20, 2011


Sorry, to clarify, I think this was a fantastic effort and a great result and users should be proud, although I agree that we should hold off on the condemnation of other parties who are not present. What I was asking when I said "[w]hat on earth could this possibly mean?" was in response to (for the second time in two days) someone telling me what MeFi is or isn't. It's the worst tactic to deploy in disagreement -- I disagree with you, therefore you don't know what this site is for. Ttherefore, the statement "AskMe isn't a court of law, or a newspaper. It's not about getting all the facts or understanding both sides of the story. It's about one of us needing help, asking for it, and getting it." just doesn't make any sense to me as I've literally never heard that this is what "AskMe is." I would also further submit that it's a dangerous position anytime to say "it's not about getting all the facts or understanding both sides of the story."
posted by proj at 7:50 AM on March 20, 2011


I saw the question when it first got posted, and seeing it unfold was fantastic. Here's this girl, scared, feeling alone, with the person who should be there for her most turning his back on her. And within a few hours, more than 100 people swooped in offering help, support, and friendship.

It reminds you that most people in the world are good people. We focus so much on the bad guys because they make the most noise. It's nice to be able to sit back every once in a while and watch the nice guys take over.

Good job, team!
posted by phunniemee at 7:57 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


proj, I agree with what you say.

The way I read it was that if (according to the AskMe Guidelines) "A good question should have a purpose, goal, or problem to be solved" then the purpose here is to give guidance to the OP regarding her abortion.

It's not necessary, or even possible, to determine for sure the precise facts about her ex, so that's presumably why AskMe "isn't a court of law or a newspaper" - the judgement about her ex isn't strictly relevant to answering the question. Have a stab in the dark, sure, but let's not pretend that it's correct or definitive.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:10 AM on March 20, 2011


Sorry, I should have phrased it better. It was early morning for me, after a night punctuated by demands from a very fussy four month-old baby, so I didn't state my thought quite as coherently as I might have. I wasn't intending to state what the purpose of AskMe is on a grand basis. I was just responding to the idea that commenters were being unfair to the ex, and I meant that AskMe shouldn't be expected to be fair to both sides, it's about answering/helping the person asking the question or seeking guidance, according to the terms of how they ask their question.
posted by ambrosia at 8:59 AM on March 20, 2011


flex, thanks. I read the first part of that thread but didn't know how it had turned out. I love watching this community pull together.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:25 AM on March 20, 2011


Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.
-Author Unknown

Good on ya'll.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:32 AM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought that thread was wonderful and moving. But I do think there is a problematic aspect to how and when metafilter decides to take over and fix things.

First it's weirdly arbitrary. Why do some people get chosen to have their lives fixed by metafilter? I've seen it happen for popular or well-known users (which always left me a little uncomfortable, because presumably if X unknown but long-time user got in a car wreck, we wouldn't all necessarily start a paypal account in her name). And then there are the askmes, usually not from a well-known community member, and I'm not always sure why those folks get picked out for rescuing. Is it that they write more compellingly than everyone else?

In this particular case it seemed quite wonderful and seems unlikely to have any ill effects. But the thread about the Russian woman presumably being roped into sex work seemed a bit more complicated and ambiguous. Sometimes not knowing much of the story can introduce complications I think.
posted by serazin at 9:59 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man I love this place.
posted by molecicco at 11:50 AM on March 20, 2011


This is a good thing.

I am so glad the community was able to help her. But, even more so, I am glad that that thread will be somewhere in Google, able to be found by other young women in similarly bad spots. Sure, we can't give financial assistance to everyone, but the advice that was given there will do wonders to help anyone in similar situations in the future. Even more than just the advice, the fact that there is such a strong atmosphere of love in that thread will help those who need it. Hell, it helped me, and I don't even need an abortion.
posted by meese at 1:24 PM on March 20, 2011


Sometimes I worry that a bunch of anti-choice folks who are crazies will catch wind of Metafilter, sign up, and clog birth control and abortion threads with their nonsense. But that won't happen. I don't think anyone would let that happen.

First it's weirdly arbitrary. Why do some people get chosen to have their lives fixed by metafilter? I've seen it happen for popular or well-known users (which always left me a little uncomfortable, because presumably if X unknown but long-time user got in a car wreck, we wouldn't all necessarily start a paypal account in her name). And then there are the askmes, usually not from a well-known community member, and I'm not always sure why those folks get picked out for rescuing. Is it that they write more compellingly than everyone else?

So, the cost of an abortion and a cab ride is very small (in the hundreds) compared to ongoing medical bills and expenses for, say, injuries resulting from a car accident. Other than the abortion and cab ride, there weren't any unseen costs.

Plus, she's just a college student who is dependent on her parents for money, and this is not any of her parents' business. It should only be her choice. I'm certain most didn't want anybody but her to make the decision to have the abortion because of financial constraints or changing minds of people who wouldn't have to carry the pregnancy to term and deal with that fallout.

Also, her ex who got her pregnant was being an asshole. I think that made people want to ensure that no one could manipulate her and she wouldn't have to worry if he would bother giving her the money or not.

I personally feel very strongly about women being able to have abortions if they want them. Women should have access to abortions without having to drive five hours out of their way or catch two buses and a train or leave the state or country and be uncomfortable.
posted by anniecat at 2:06 PM on March 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sure, we can't give financial assistance to everyone, but the advice that was given there will do wonders to help anyone in similar situations in the future.

So true. I'm sure a lot of women in that situation aren't aware of the organizations that can help cover the cost of abortions and I think that will be a big help, hopefully.
posted by anniecat at 2:07 PM on March 20, 2011


First it's weirdly arbitrary.

Personal charity is capricious by nature; if you want to avoid that, then you have the option of either donating to organisations that more broadly support the causes and activities you support, or advocating for political change so that those causes and activities are no longer reliant upon charity.
posted by holgate at 2:27 PM on March 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, I missed that thread completely. It made my eyes itch to read it. I'm very grateful to be part of this community, and thankful for this post calling attention to the selflessness of everyone who helped taiscape in her hours of need.
posted by jasper411 at 6:07 PM on March 20, 2011


I have something in my eye.
posted by cj_ at 3:18 AM on March 21, 2011


I only wish we could c&p metahawk's wonderful comment to every AskMe that needs it.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 3:30 AM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been reading MetaFilter at work for years (unless my boss is reading, in which case j/k lol), and that was the first time a thread has made me actually, honestly worry I was going to start crying at my desk.

So thanks for that, you jackasses.
posted by Zozo at 8:30 AM on March 21, 2011


First it's weirdly arbitrary. Why do some people get chosen to have their lives fixed by metafilter?

This was a situation where donating a limited amount of money was going to have a hugely positive influence on one person's life. It's rare that things are so cut and dry. About halfway through reading that thread for the first time just now, I was thinking, I really hope someone in the thread paid for that abortion so she won't have deal with that douchebag ever again, because if they hadn't, I was going to.
posted by empath at 4:42 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older Restore the mobile spreadsheet   |   Mix Party! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments