Post tags and deadnames November 20, 2019 11:00 AM   Subscribe

I posted Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s latest instalment of his ongoing serial fic. When tagging the post, I was conflicted about tagging it with his deadname (which is “Mallory Ortberg”. Two questions: 1) on a technical level, will tagging with his full name link up with older posts tagged with his deadname, since the latter is included in the former? He’s the same author, and that continuity of work seems valuable. 2) on a trans-etiquette level, is this shitty and equivalent to deadnaming? (I’m more interested in hearing what trans folks have to say on this one.) I ended up tagging the post with his name and his deadname but I’m questioning that.
posted by sixswitch to Etiquette/Policy at 11:00 AM (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

To your mechanical question about how tags work: no, tag search doesn't automatically include substrings. So the tag danielmalloryortberg won't bring up results that are only tagged malloryortberg.

There is the ability to use term+term, which would act the way you're thinking ... that is, searching for the two term combo ortberg+mallory would include posts that were tagged with the three term combo ortberg+mallory+daniel. But it depends what people use as tags, and people have mostly used the combined single term for the full name, rather than tagging each name separately.

These are the current results for the various relevant tags:

https://www.metafilter.com/tags/ortberg (15 results)
https://www.metafilter.com/tags/danielmalloryortberg (9 results)
https://www.metafilter.com/tags/malloryortberg (48 results)
https://www.metafilter.com/tags/danielortberg (3 results)
https://www.metafilter.com/tags/ortberg+mallory (2 results)
https://www.metafilter.com/tags/ortberg+daniel (0 results)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:17 AM on November 20, 2019


A question for the mods: is it possible to change the "malloryortberg" tag to the "danielmalloryortbeg" tag, if that's something considered appropriate?
posted by schroedinger at 11:20 AM on November 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


We can manually add tags to things and could backtag. Do people know what Daniel Mallory Ortberg's own preference is for this kind of thing?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:27 AM on November 20, 2019 [4 favorites]


Okay, Eyebrows McGee ran through all the back posts with any of those other tags and added the danielmalloryortberg tag to all, so now there are 61 results for that tag.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:00 PM on November 20, 2019 [39 favorites]


This is a good question and I appreciate having the back posts tagged with the correct name for uniform accessibility.

I'd also suggest tag-related tags on this post so it's easier to find the next time someone has a related question: tag, tags, tagging, search, tagsearch
posted by asperity at 12:48 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


I’m more interested in hearing what trans folks have to say on this one.

I'm trans and idk, it would really bother me very very much if it were me but Mr. Ortberg incorporated his birth name into his preferred name so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. My instinct would be to err on the side of not including it but, like, I don't know what's in his heart so it's a pickle all right.
posted by an octopus IRL at 12:52 PM on November 20, 2019 [6 favorites]


Thanks Eyebrows for the backtagging! With that in place and in line with my own gut feeling and an octopus IRL’s contribution I’ve removed the “malloryortberg” tag from the recent post.
posted by sixswitch at 2:05 PM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


This brings up a question:

would it be a lot of work to add a way to flag the tags of a post for attention?

I guess the general "flag with note" flag could also work for that...
posted by ArgentCorvid at 2:21 PM on November 20, 2019


Yeah, "flag with note" is the best approach there.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:31 PM on November 20, 2019


Should Meta go ahead and do this for Emily VanDerWerff? There are a bunch of posts related to her work as well.
posted by acidnova at 3:27 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm a trans person who strongly prefers cis people do not use the term "dead name" without explicit permission. I didn't die when I transitioned. You don't get to decide I did.
posted by hoyland at 3:46 PM on November 20, 2019 [20 favorites]


(Seriously, the term "dead name" bothers me way more than what we do with Dan Ortberg's tags.)
posted by hoyland at 3:47 PM on November 20, 2019 [12 favorites]


Also, can we please think about the dynamic enacted in this post and several times in AskMe of late where a cis person says "I'm particularly interested in hearing from trans people on this". The particular history of transness on Metafilter means some of us are going to speak up, but, really, we're not here to answer your questions or validate your choice to post.
posted by hoyland at 3:51 PM on November 20, 2019 [14 favorites]


Um... Wendy Carlos / Walter Carlos. Only a couple I think but the only one I know about.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:43 PM on November 20, 2019


Daniel Mallory Ortberg-Lavery got married last month.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:50 PM on November 20, 2019 [7 favorites]


"I'm particularly interested in hearing from trans people on this"

My impression is that people say this preemptively to stop the usual avalanche of cis people from barging in and offering their irrelevant but highly authoriative opinions. Like, for me it's a politer way of saying "cis people, keep your mouths shut and listen."
I didn't realise it could read negatively.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:46 AM on November 21, 2019 [23 favorites]


I'm a trans person who strongly prefers cis people do not use the term "dead name" without explicit permission. I didn't die when I transitioned. You don't get to decide I did.

I had no idea this was the case, I thought it was the correct/preferred term. I'll make sure not to use it in the future.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:24 PM on November 21, 2019 [9 favorites]


My impression is that people say this preemptively to stop the usual avalanche of cis people from barging in and offering their irrelevant but highly authoriative opinions. Like, for me it's a politer way of saying "cis people, keep your mouths shut and listen."

It doesn't stop them in AskMe, though. And even in this post, we had mod action before anyone specifying they were trans spoke up. I don't know that that was wrong per se, but I did note that, regardless of how I feel about the OP itself, the mods didn't actually wait to hear from us and presumed to know what we want (if trans people on Metafilter ever want anything as a collective, though I suppose there are a few things we have universal agreement on).
posted by hoyland at 3:56 PM on November 21, 2019 [3 favorites]


Perhaps it superficially looks like I'm creating a catch-22--don't ask us our opinion, but don't do stuff before hearing from us. But with the post having made it through the queue, the asking had already happened.
posted by hoyland at 4:03 PM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I only meant to be answering the OP's question 1 about how tags work, and then it seemed like backtagging with his new name was a workable way to achieve the goal of having all Ortberg posts under a common tag, without having to put his old name on new posts. If backtagging like that is a bad approach, I can remove them.

I didn't mean to weigh in on question 2, about the etiquette of tagging a present-day post with his old name.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:13 PM on November 21, 2019 [2 favorites]


This interview with Danny is the most recent (Sept 2019) and closest thing I can find right now on an opinion from the person in question on this topic:
Right. No matter how nuanced a situation might be people find it hard to resist the allure of those tropes. When I started my own transition you were just about to release The Merry Spinster and you were profiled in The Cut. You spoke about your pre-transition self, Mallory, and about, essentially, loving her. That was so necessary for me to hear at that time that I remember I cried. It’s this strange social violence that is done to trans people, with or without their consent, to imply that that person has died.

Thank you so much. But I don’t think I’m the only one. I think most of us, even the ones who talk about feeling a real disconnect with their birth name or their deadname, have some sense of continuity with ourselves. I don’t think most of us feel 100 per cent of the time that somebody died, and somebody new is here. And so, when we talk about stuff like cycles, like death, or rebirth, we’re speaking with a lot of nuance. And oftentimes that nuance gets lost when other people speak of us. It’s hard to say I feel continuity with the person known as Mallory, or I feel affection for the person that is Mallory. In some ways, I feel like she and I exist in alternate dimensions. In some ways, I feel like she’s always with me. All of that is true at the same time. I often feel like I would love to be more open about my feelings towards that version of myself, but sometimes I have to make sure: Let’s make sure you call me ‘Danny’ consistently, and then we can talk about Daniel Mallory.
posted by foxfirefey at 5:29 PM on November 21, 2019 [17 favorites]


According to a new blog post, due to an estrangement from his family of origin, Dan has taken his wife's name and is now Daniel M. Lavery.
posted by ceejaytee at 6:39 PM on November 28, 2019 [5 favorites]


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