womanparts tag needed January 20, 2005 5:03 AM   Subscribe

Do we need to find a special code for stating "girl grossness/irrelevant to men talk inside, boys kindly stay out" for askme? Seems no matter what one puts in the question, some poor lad will walk in the room and have to share his screams of ick with everyone. We know you'll be peeping anyway, but sharing what you think about it does not follow the please limit comments to answers rule. ta.
posted by dabitch to Etiquette/Policy at 5:03 AM (218 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

'guideline', not rule. It's happened in every girl-bits thread I have seen in AskMe so far. What do we need to do to make it clear we are not asking any boys for their input?
posted by dabitch at 5:20 AM on January 20, 2005


The original post on The Green was pretty obtuse and I'll defend those that looked, like I did, because we knew not to what it referred. Certainly it could have been phrased better. Even the manner in which you phrased it here is more to the point although you give no one in The Gray any idea to which post you are referring.

I cannot however defend making comments that do not add to the ongoing and on-topic discussion.
posted by geekyguy at 5:23 AM on January 20, 2005


I'm not just talking about only that post but it is a good example, like I said, it's happened in every girl-bits post that I've seen so far. From big busted bras and brazilians to methods of contraception. This one was that famous straw, camel, back etc.
posted by dabitch at 5:26 AM on January 20, 2005


You have a good point, and certainly the wording of the question made it amply clear that those who are squeamish about such matters should have stayed away. I don't see what more dame could have done.

OTOH, you know what the site is like, so you should probably expect some boyzone antics from the rude contingent as well as the can't-help-commenting-on-everything contingent. The mild slap downs in the thread in response to such antics were appropriate. As is this MeTa thread, I suppose, but expecting any better (or expecting this thread not to get unpleasant) is probably unduly optimistic.
posted by anapestic at 5:28 AM on January 20, 2005


I don't think a code would do any good -- it's not likely to be any more effective than the please limit comments to answers rule that's already there.

It sucks, but unless Matt codes in a way to block certain genders, I guess your best option is to try to ignore the screaming ninnies with the emotional capacity of seven year-olds.
posted by cheaily at 5:32 AM on January 20, 2005


1) The question was directed specifically at AskMeFemmes. Unless you're doing a drag show on the weekends, geekyguy (and more power to you if you are,) you are not a femme.

2) After requesting the presence of femmes, the outside text referred to blood. Now golly, why might somebody be asking women's advice on something that has to do with blood?

3) Even if a lad isn't bright enough to put femmes and blood together, and finds out *inside* the thread that it's about UTERI and PERIODS, what is so damned hard about saying to one's self, "My, this isn't a thread for me," and leave without posting.

Because it's NOT like walking in on someone in the bathroom on accident when you post here. You type the words, then the site *makes* you preview, then you post. Everytime somebody posts here, they do so willfully, and it's irritating to go into a thread about periods or other subjects of feminine maintenance to find three guys shrieking that they saw something girly, and jonmc chipping in with yet another anecdote demonstrating that he's met a woman once or twice.
posted by headspace at 5:34 AM on January 20, 2005


Do we need to find a special code for stating "girl grossness/irrelevant to men talk inside, boys kindly stay out" for askme?

could just put that, no? Although for women it was obvious what the thread was about, I've no doubt plenty of men have never heard of a keeper or diva cup, and "askmefemmes" doesn't automatically translate to "women only" (someone could think it referenced being effeminate rather than biologically female, eg).

Anyway, I thought dame's first response was spot on, later harsher words probably not necessary - best defense is ignoring or dismissing useless answers. They're just curious, a little annoying but not malicious...
posted by mdn at 5:36 AM on January 20, 2005


Well said, headspace!
posted by cyniczny at 5:37 AM on January 20, 2005


I thought the obscure phrasing was a clever bid to keep people without direct knowledge of the products from commenting by indicating at the top this was not something they had any expertise in. You know, on top of starting the post "askmefemmes:"

(I have girly bits but as I had never heard of those devices, I wouldn't dream of posting my opinion of them in the thread. Or showing up to say, "wow, I never heard of this before, what is it?" Not to say I didn't laugh out loud at stupidsexyflanders fleeing in horror, but it was inappropriate and led to other, more irritating off-topic comments.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:38 AM on January 20, 2005


headspace - it could easily have been perceived as some sort of wiccan post but regardless the question was unclear enough to prompt mefi's to click through to see what it was.

This isn't about girl topics or boy topics it is the long time problem of people derailing an on-topic question discussion simply to show how clever or worldly they are. Good luck solving that one.
posted by geekyguy at 5:45 AM on January 20, 2005


Agreed, there are cases where the boyzone-ness is highly annoying, even to one who typically revels in boyzone antics (yours truly).

MeFi Lynch mob ... hie yonder to Flanders with ye torches and ropes!
posted by SpecialK at 5:45 AM on January 20, 2005


(And ... it doesn't matter how vague the actual post was... he had to think up a non-witty comment, type it out, hit preview, THEN hit post. That's far too many actions for it to be excused as a reflex.)
posted by SpecialK at 5:47 AM on January 20, 2005


Some of the more annoying posts have been deleted by this point, but Flanders saying something the equivalent to "OMG I thought this was the men's room" is crap and unecessary as is jonmc's comment that basically says "well as a guy this is what I have to say about this topic I actually don't know anything about." as well as the obligatory "don't judge me!" entreaty, when no one was doing anything of the kind. Sure dame could have been more politic in later posts, but I think her MI post made it plain what she was generally talking about. Captaintripps seemed confused but asked a question instead of derailing the thread which seems like the way to go.
posted by jessamyn at 5:54 AM on January 20, 2005


Oh, jeez. I'm not even going to look at that thread and the turmoil I apparently instigated. It just seemed like a lighthearted, inconsequential thing. I shouldn't have done it and I'm sorry if I completely derailed the discussion. I'm not actually squeamish, I did understand the "posted sign," I just stepped in to see what a keeper and a diva cup were. I'd never heard of those. The OMG was 100% goofball reflex.

And I'm precisely the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time to make this point, but no one's made it, so: If you don't like a comment, ignore it. It's the best thing for the thread. Hopefully Matt will delete this stain upon AskMe.

hie yonder to Flanders with ye torches and ropes

That can't be good.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 5:59 AM on January 20, 2005


Are my comments really leading you to believe that I am in any way condoning any mefi who takes the time to 'think up a non-witty comment, type it out, hit preview, THEN hit post.' be they male or female? In case it is unclear I agree but it isn't about the topic or the gender but just a couple of people behaving boorishly. Good luck with that.
posted by geekyguy at 6:01 AM on January 20, 2005


With all due respect, jon, getting all preachy in the morning and doing the exact opposite later that night isn't exactly the path to credibility.
posted by adampsyche at 6:03 AM on January 20, 2005


I had no idea what that question was about before I clicked through.

Don't be vague and nondescriptive if you want to be understood.
posted by smackfu at 6:16 AM on January 20, 2005


Don't be vague and nondescriptive if you want to be understood.

The people who actually knew the answer understood the question. Don't offer solutions if you can't solve the actual problem.
posted by headspace at 6:24 AM on January 20, 2005


may I suggest:

"Female women only, please! BOYS, BACK OFF - this means YOU, jonmc! No, really I'm serious! Absolutely no men. Shooo!!! Scat! So, I have a question about ..."

There couldn't possibly be any complaints about that, right?
posted by taz at 6:28 AM on January 20, 2005


The warnings were a bit obtuse. I literally interpreted it as some kind of ritual or something I'd never heard of. Yeah, I'm pretty weird.

But the comments were totally uncalled for. Though I'm pretty sure they weren't intended to be malicious, cruel, or demeaning, however inane and pointless they may be.

Boys are pretty dumb about this kind of stuff, but I'm sure you know this. Maybe a less subtle warning would be useful. By less subtle, I mean more explicit, possibly spelled out in neon, and followed up with a brick upside the head or something equally dense. Dense and/or denser than the thick skull of said boys.

I'm fairly enlightened and empathic as boys go - as in getting to the point where I generally don't have to try to avoid pointing out how enlightened I am - and I'm still pretty damn stupid. Stupid enough to laugh at the "Ack! I thought this was the boys room!" but not stupid enough to post something like that.

Be patient with us. We're simple. We have the brains of drink-happy dogs. We think riding over a waterfall in a barrel is a fantastic idea and in no way foolhardy or stupid. Leave us alone together and eventually we'll find a way to stress-test our own skulls - with, say, a brick - for the sheer amusement of it. We still think farts are funny. Farts on fire are even funnier, and the funniest thing of all is a fart that lights your buddy's pants on fire, with bonus points for an emergency room visit as a direct result. If not for women, we'd probably still be attempting to eat rocks.

That being said, twice in the last month I've accidently walked into the women's restroom in very public and busy places. There is nothing quite so confusing as wandering in to the bathroom, wondering where in the hell the urinals are, and why there are girls staring at you incredulously and with borderline fight-or-flight responses in the boys bathroom; and all you can do is stand there dumbstruck and speechless.
posted by loquacious at 6:30 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


Were some of the comments in that thread deleted? I don't understand jonmc's remark about being judged....who was judging him?? It seems totally out of context.

loquacious, you are such a lovable lug!
posted by iconomy at 6:35 AM on January 20, 2005


ico, my comment was basically just sort of an aside to a response dame made to a mildly smartass comment about menstruation by stupidsexyflanders. I just tried to communicate why men get awkward around menstro-talk. With the two initial comments deleted, what I said looks more out-of-context than ever and more like just someone trying to stir up trouble and should probably be deleted as well.

And, yes, people are right that it probably wasn't the best place to make the point anyway. Sorry.
posted by jonmc at 6:44 AM on January 20, 2005


headspace: Only the original poster was capable of preventing the confusing nature of the phrasing and not at all in retrospect.

Don't offer solutions if you can't solve the actual problem. That would only be mathowie.

See, some would say the problem began with the poorly phrased question. I would suggest the question was asked poorly enough to prevent similar answer seekers in finding it via any obvious search strings in the future. Shouldn't that be a consideration?

The problem was exacerbated by the post being derailed. It is unfortunate. Please don't become indignant that your question or a question that interests you isn't special and above the too common fray.
posted by geekyguy at 6:45 AM on January 20, 2005


Walking into the wrong washroom as an honest mistake because the door wasn't clearly labelled is one thing - deciding that because you're already in there you can make very personal comments to whomever's in there is quite another.
posted by orange swan at 6:48 AM on January 20, 2005


There was nothing subtle about it! It started by addressing itself to "AskMeFemmes." How is that confusing or poorly phrased or too subtle? We don't need new codes or neon signs, all we need is a little maturity from AskMe chitchatterers.

And no one is suggesting the boys shouldn't read the post, just don't participate unless you have useful info to share.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:55 AM on January 20, 2005


Just remember that you don't want to ban comments by men. Most of us resisted the urge to say "Well I looked, but I find goatse funny". Believe it or not, some men actually have very useful knowledge about your so called female only topic. You want to reduce or eliminate useless twit comments made by useless twits.

The solution to that, of course, is more moderation.
posted by Chuckles at 6:55 AM on January 20, 2005


OMG COOTIES!!!
posted by Shane at 6:56 AM on January 20, 2005


Actually, the question would be fairly searchable. Anyone interested in the answer to this question would know the terms "keeper" and "diva cup" which were both in the main text of the question. The word "blood" even appears in the question.

The only other search term I might suggest would be "menstruation" and, frankly, I'd expect putting the word "menstruation" above the fold in a question like this would probably attract more boyzone idiotic comments, because those suffering from testosterone poisoning would feel the need to come in to complain about seeing the word "menstruation" in the main page.
posted by Karmakaze at 6:58 AM on January 20, 2005


Why is it that women always seem to have to rope off an area for themselves, no matter what the venue? Just what's with the 'No Boys Allowed' thing anyway? Seriously, I'm curious.
posted by ackptui at 6:58 AM on January 20, 2005


And I guess, what this points up is that maybe AskMe (or more precisely, us users of AskMe) don't do "*foo* only," very well. It's an open forum and when we read stuff, we're going to have thoughts and opinions on it, and being asked not to share them is just sort of anti-thetical to how a lot of us are. It happened in the gun thread and the one referenced here.

People just don't react well to being told not to speak. And I think that goes for all kinds of people.

And no one is suggesting the boys shouldn't read the post, just don't participate unless you have useful info to share.

CL, even though I now realize that the comment was probably a bad idea, I actually thought I was contributing something useful, namely, a theory about why men get awkward around menstruation discussions.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 AM on January 20, 2005


I knew what the thread was about. It didn't seem at all obtuse to me. Even if I didn't know what it was about, clicking into a thread doesn't mean somebody is forced to comment, so whether something is clear or not is hardly the point.

MeFi has lots of mature adults and a few vocal children. You can scold the children or feel sorry for them, but I doubt that there's anything you can say or do to ensure they'll never wander in with their dirty, sticky fingers to ruin the nice furniture. So, spank the little brat and send him to dinner with no supper, and hopefully next time, he'll think before commenting (but understand that there will probably be some other child who's desperate for your attention the next time)
posted by willnot at 7:00 AM on January 20, 2005


I would suggest the question was asked poorly enough to prevent similar answer seekers in finding it via any obvious search strings in the future. Shouldn't that be a consideration?

Not with the new tagging system, no. Plus, anybody who *has* a Keeper knows what it is, and can find the thread just fine by searching for "Keeper."

Point being, whether the question was vague or not, the more inside more than clarified the point, and I'm irritated (and obviously not alone) that nearly every single time someone posts a question about periods or feminine hygiene, some dork has to think he's clever and "run out of the room," or opine on his personal opinion about equipment he don't have.

I'm almost positive if a guy had replied to dame's post with "My girlfriend had the same problem with her Keeper, and she switched to X and that worked," that wouldn't have been a problem. It's all the recoiling in horror at the feminine mystique that's annoying. As charming as I find loquacious' post above, I'd like to think that men are smarter than that.
posted by headspace at 7:02 AM on January 20, 2005


may I suggest:

"Female women only, please! BOYS, BACK OFF - this means YOU, jonmc! No, really I'm serious! Absolutely no men. Shooo!!! Scat! So, I have a question about ..."

There couldn't possibly be any complaints about that, right?


Wrong. Why should you WANT to keep "boys [] pretty dumb about this kind of stuff"?
posted by DBAPaul at 7:04 AM on January 20, 2005


See, some would say the problem began with the poorly phrased question. I would suggest the question was asked poorly enough to prevent similar answer seekers in finding it via any obvious search strings in the future. Shouldn't that be a consideration?

Dude. I knew what the question was about, and I'm male. I didn't even need google to look it up. The question was perfectly clear.

ackptui: Maybe it's because when the women talk about girly stuff in a public area, there's always some boorish jackass that has to go, "Ewwww! That's grosssss!"
posted by SpecialK at 7:04 AM on January 20, 2005


Femme and blood tell me all I need to know about that thread without clicking. But if I'm to follow this thread and particularly loquacious, I'm smarter because I have a cunt as obviously having a dick robs you of the IQ points necessary to not be an ass on Mefi.

Good to know.

I swear, using the excuse of I'm a man and therefore slightly stupid, so forgive my boorish behavior on your thread is the most asinine thing I've read all day.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:04 AM on January 20, 2005


ackptui, nice way of turning it around. Nobody is trying to rope a special area off for women only, it's just tremendously annoying to enter a cootie-thread and find that in every.single.one.so.far some guy has come in screaming "OMG COOTIES!", sortof like entering a a gun-question thread brings out the anti-gun crowd. It's irrelevant. Go away, and really, it's dead insulting to have men icked out by something quite natural. Your willies ain't so damn hot either.
posted by dabitch at 7:07 AM on January 20, 2005


Moderation isn't necassarily going to solve anything. Look at Slashdot.

In fact, the thread in question is a strong argument for leaving annoying comments intact. By leaving the comments, you don't end up with thread confusion, and the record stands, further enforcing the ties between a given username and their public record. (Sorry jonmc, flanders. It could have been anyone.)

Hopefully, that public record will make the repeat offender think twice about it.

orange swan: I wasn't implying that walking into a restroom and willfully making dumb boyzone comments were similar crimes. I was just illustrating how clueless us boys can be.

CunningLinguist: I feel it was quite subtle. "Femmes" can mean anything to me in this day and age, drag queens, transvestites and transgenders aside. It actually attracted me to the thread out of curiosity. I literally had no idea that the thread was about mensturation until I opened the thread, the word "blood" in the title or not.

I only debate that point, and I emphatically do not suggest in any way that the subtlety I percieve - perhaps as a boy - merited the immature comments.
posted by loquacious at 7:08 AM on January 20, 2005


I agree with headspace. I don't want to keep the Y-endowed out, I just wish that certain of their members would find a way to get over their "ewww, girly bits" crap. Fellas, every single woman you know currently has, has had, or will have a period. Also breasts and vaginas. It's time to come to terms with these curious biological facts.

Heh. "Members."
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:09 AM on January 20, 2005


I have a problem with a "girl grossness" tag--mainly, that "girls" are not gross, and that kind of tag panders to the whole, "we're making inappropriate comments because girl things are yucky" mentality you're supposedly trying to avoid. Why not just a "menstruation" tag?
posted by availablelight at 7:11 AM on January 20, 2005


FunkyHelix, I knew what the thread was about, too. I mainly read it because dame's a freind of mine and her threads usually go in interesting directions. I probably wouldn't have commented were it not for the (now deleted) exchange between ssf & dame which ended with dame half-sarcastically saying "yes, run & hide, menses is terrifying." What I tried to communicate in response to that was that most men are not "terrified of menses" but we just can't relate since it's outside of our frame of reference, thus creating awkwardness. With that exchange deleted, it looks like I just popped in with a speech for the hell of it.

And for the record, I never claimed to find menstruation disgusting or gross, merely offered a theory about those who might.

Now, I realize that I went against the rules of AskMe, and for that I'll take my lumps. But this juudgemental atmosphere (ntm, near universal misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say half the time) has consequences in other realms of the site.
posted by jonmc at 7:14 AM on January 20, 2005


FunkyHelix: Err, chill? I didn't make any comments there.

My statement was: Us boys are dumb about girlstuff. We're not girls. Because of our culture, we're rarely exposed to anything truly feminine. Television advertisements for feminine products speak in fluffy-bunny code that reveals nothing to us, and frankly willfully furthers many myths and mysteries.

Whether or not this mysteriousness is a direct result of an oppressive patriarchal society or not is an excersize left to the reader.

In grasping these things, either through willful ignorance or lack of education or exposure, we're dumb. I guess I made the mistake of begging the general forgiveness of the female half of the human race on behalf of the male half, and using broad, general strokes to do so. I had assumed that the tongue-in-cheekiness of it all was enough to keep it lighthearted.
posted by loquacious at 7:16 AM on January 20, 2005


availablelight ,clearly I'm exaggerating to make a point. Of all AskMe threads that gather off-topic blather, girl-bit threads are hit every time. Sorry if the sarcasm was obtuse.
posted by dabitch at 7:19 AM on January 20, 2005


re: the thread derails, there really doesn't seem to be anything to debate, does there? You're supposed to comment if you can help to answer the question.

DBAPaul, that was joke. In response to those who were saying that dame should have been clearer with the question. Which is actually pretty silly - even if they don't know that "femmes" probably means women, the words "blood", "cunt", "leaking", all in the post and first comment could have tipped them off.
posted by taz at 7:19 AM on January 20, 2005


loquacious, I thought it was very funny. :)
posted by dabitch at 7:21 AM on January 20, 2005


What I tried to communicate in response to that was that most men are not "terrified of menses" but we just can't relate since it's outside of our frame of reference, thus creating awkwardness.

Really? No shit, I had no idea men feel that way. I'm stunned and shocked, I tell you. Stunned. Stunned and shocked. I've never heard such a thing. Never. Awkwardness? I've just never come across that. I'm so glad you let me know, as I apparently am as dumb as a god damned rock.

Phfft.

The thread isn't about you, and women know men are grossed out. What we would like is for them not to be jerks in threads like this.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:21 AM on January 20, 2005


dabitch, a strong negative reaction is understandable and Flanders's comment was stupid and jonmc's was offensive...but I'm not comfortable with the "boys stay out!" implication of some of these reactions.

Can't we just keep it at something like: "1) Answer the goddam question or keep your trap shut; and, 2) If you're a man, and over the age of nine, then "ooh, yucky girl stuff!" is really fucking annoying and intolerable and why don't you go away already? (And if you're nine or younger, does your parents know you're reading metafilter?"

That would about cover it, wouldn't it?

On preview: "I have a problem with a 'girl grossness' tag--mainly, that 'girls' are not gross, and that kind of tag panders to the whole, 'we're making inappropriate comments because girl things are yucky' mentality you're supposedly trying to avoid. Why not just a 'menstruation' tag?" Yes. Double yes. Triple yes. I agree. Menstruation isn't yucky, some of us men have are old enough and domesticated enough to be well aquainted with it...secondhand, of course. Maybe one of us has a partner who has extensive experience with a keeper and could have offered some helpful information. Hell, none of my partners have used one but I knew exactly what dame was talking about. I'm not comfortable with segregation or implied segregation, even if it's understandble and even if it well-intentioned.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:21 AM on January 20, 2005


People just don't react well to being told not to speak. And I think that goes for all kinds of people.

That has absolutely nothing to do with the request that Matt has made to keep the discussion relevant and to shut up if you have nothing to add that will help answer the question.
posted by adampsyche at 7:22 AM on January 20, 2005


near universal misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say half the time

Has it occured to you that if people are universally misunderstanding you that the points you make maybe aren't being made well enough? I saw the comments before they were deleted and no one said anything about judging anyone. I think you might have been better off if you had just left it at sorry. All I want is for the guys to be as helpful in the girl-ish threads as the ladies are in the guy-ish threads and everyone usually is in the rest of AskMe.
posted by jessamyn at 7:25 AM on January 20, 2005


Hey, I'm glad I learned what a keeper and diva cup are. Very interesting, and I'll ask my girlfriend what she thinks of them tonight.

One thing did make me squirm:

In the diva cup description it says "Not tested on animals."

All I can say is, Thank God.
posted by atchafalaya at 7:27 AM on January 20, 2005


We know you'll be peeping anyway, but sharing what you think about it does not follow the please limit comments to answers rule.

I'm wondering why there would need to be a special "code" for these types of posts, and not others. As you indicate, the real problem is comments that don't address the question. It doesn't matter whether the question is about menstrual blood or investment advice. If the comment isn't helpful to answering the question, it shouldn't be posted. If it is, it should be dealt with the same way (presumably as Matt sees fit). I don't see why there should be (or why anyone would want) special protections for specific "types" of questions. To be more blunt, it seems odd that you would feel like these issues are so sensitive you need to request special protection from dumb boys.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:27 AM on January 20, 2005


FH, what I said was far less confrontational and sexist than what ssf (whom I like as well) said, but once again I'm going to be made the posterboy for MeFi Misogyny, which is inacurate, as anyone who knows me will tell you, and it's getting me to the point where I'm ready to avoid controversial subjects entirely here, since no matter what I say, someone's gonna get upset.

That has absolutely nothing to do with the request that Matt has made to keep the discussion relevant and to shut up if you have nothing to add that will help answer the question.

I realize that adam. I was just proffering a theory as to why "____ only" threads (in the blue as well as the green) tend to go awry.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 AM on January 20, 2005


Amen to tha jessamyn. Ethereal Bligh, you too need a sarcasm detector, no one is saying that the boys may not look at the threads and add yusefuls responses if they have any. Kay?

pardonyou, I feel like a broken record, basically this etiquette talk is here to highlight the fact that it has happened in every girl-bit thread so far, and is a request for y'all to stop it. I've used the ignore-it card up until now. I'm fed up and it seems so are other mefiosos. Ya dig?
posted by dabitch at 7:29 AM on January 20, 2005


I too will be asking my partner if she's heard of these, and what she thinks of them. It seems like a fine alternative to tampons, considering TSS and disposal/landfill and all that.
posted by loquacious at 7:30 AM on January 20, 2005


You weren't being sexist, jon. You were being condescending.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:31 AM on January 20, 2005


"Guys stay out" was never the point here. The point was stay out or back out if you can't restrain yourself from making unhelpful comments.
posted by taz at 7:31 AM on January 20, 2005


MetaFilter: Dumb boys!
posted by loquacious at 7:31 AM on January 20, 2005


Why is it that women always seem to have to rope off an area for themselves, no matter what the venue? Just what's with the 'No Boys Allowed' thing anyway? Seriously, I'm curious. - ackptui

Because most "neutral" public spaces are still male-oriented. A post about boxers vs briefs or electric shavers will not result in 100 female posters feeling the need to post "Eeeeeeew! Boy parts! Groooooosssss!" The desire for female-only private spaces is because ostensibly neutral public spaces can still be subtly (or not-so-sublty) hostile to female-oriented discussions.

availablelight - I tend to use the term "Girly TMI" myself, if I am going to be explicit. (Just as I might use "Bronchitis TMI" to discuss phlegm consistency or something).
posted by Karmakaze at 7:34 AM on January 20, 2005


jonmc, I found your comment offensive because of the "wings" part. That's egregiously vulgar and it sounds an awful lot like sexual boasting. Put all together in context, it's a woman asking a personal hygiene question and a man comes along to offer "hey, I'm not weirded out by it, I've fucked it". Which, you know, just doesn't bolster your I-think-of-women-as-more-than-sex-objects credentials.

And the thing is, you seem to feel the need to offer this sort of an adolescent Beavis-type comment whenever the opportunity presents itself. I believe you're well-intentioned, and I sorta get your whole "I'm a twentysomething rock music lovin guy drinking a beer in a bar in Brooklyn" persona. But still, there's "charmingly oafish" and "willfully boorish" and you don't seem to know the difference.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:34 AM on January 20, 2005


You weren't being sexist, jon. You were being condescending.

I'll add it to the list.
posted by jonmc at 7:34 AM on January 20, 2005


pardonyou, I feel like a broken record, basically this etiquette talk is here to highlight the fact that it has happened in every girl-bit thread so far, and is a request for y'all to stop it. I've used the ignore-it card up until now. I'm fed up and it seems so are other mefiosos. Ya dig?

No, I guess I don't. Not quite, anyway. If your post had simply been along the lines of: "it seems like these posts attract a large number of non-answer comments, which (may I remind you) is against the spirit/rules of AskMe," I would "dig" (and agree). But you seemed to be implying these posts deserve some sort of special or unusual protection beyond the strict observance of the rule. If that was part of the sarcasm, it passed me by. Of course, mine is just one opinion out of 20,931.
posted by pardonyou? at 7:39 AM on January 20, 2005


To be clear, I really don't think anyone here - even the commenters in question on this thread - are defending the immature comments in question.

Why we were debating the percieved clarity/non-clarity of the thread title was because dabitch asked if we needed a tag to warn off the easily icked-out boys, and if it would help prevent comments like these.

That's why we were discussing the title. Not in defense of the comments, but in context of the tag-request. Clear?
posted by loquacious at 7:44 AM on January 20, 2005


Just remember that you don't want to ban comments by men. Most of us resisted the urge to say "Well I looked, but I find goatse funny". Believe it or not, some men actually have very useful knowledge about your so called female only topic. You want to reduce or eliminate useless twit comments made by useless twits.

The solution to that, of course, is more moderators.
posted by Chuckles at 7:44 AM on January 20, 2005


And repetition, apparently.
posted by jonmc at 7:47 AM on January 20, 2005


dabitch and karmakaze-- yeah, I knew it was sarcasm, but sometimes, on bad (inaugural) mornings, before I've had my coffee, I'm too weary for any shuck and jive about how women--I mean, girls--are different in a yucky way, even in jest or sarcasm. (Insert 'humorless feminist' joke here.) But I definitely share your irritation that threads about female garments/medical devices etc. turn into "hubba hubba" or "eww", and I'll have my sense of humor back at about noon or so, I think. Carry on, sisters.
posted by availablelight at 7:49 AM on January 20, 2005



This isn't about girl topics or boy topics it is the long time problem of people derailing an on-topic question discussion simply to show how clever or worldly they are.


Or aren't, as the case may be. Trying to limit the reading of a question to one gender is preposterous, but expecting that all replies to your question will be appropriate and on-topic is more than justified. I didn't see the bad behavior in the thread, but whoever contributed should be ashamed of themselves and try to grow up.
posted by rushmc at 7:50 AM on January 20, 2005


pardonyou? a girl refering to her own bits as "gross" (common boy-wording for girl-bits) is indeed sarcastic. Maybe we need a sarcasm tag?
posted by dabitch at 7:51 AM on January 20, 2005


*offers availablelight a big nice cuppa joe*
posted by dabitch at 7:53 AM on January 20, 2005


There couldn't possibly be any complaints about that, right?

Yes, I would complain, loudly, and probably in MeTa. We are all adults (more or less) here, and the condescension you suggest would be extremely galling.
posted by rushmc at 7:53 AM on January 20, 2005


"a girl refering to her own bits as 'gross' (common boy-wording for girl-bits) is indeed sarcastic."

I'm sorry to report that this isn't always the case. Even these days.

Also: 'k.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:55 AM on January 20, 2005


Be patient with us. We're simple. We have the brains of drink-happy dogs. We think riding over a waterfall in a barrel is a fantastic idea and in no way foolhardy or stupid. Leave us alone together and eventually we'll find a way to stress-test our own skulls - with, say, a brick - for the sheer amusement of it. We still think farts are funny. Farts on fire are even funnier, and the funniest thing of all is a fart that lights your buddy's pants on fire, with bonus points for an emergency room visit as a direct result. If not for women, we'd probably still be attempting to eat rocks.

I guess you were trying to be funny with this stupid and sexist remark? You failed. I'll just assume you meant your "we" to be an "I" and leave it at that.
posted by rushmc at 7:55 AM on January 20, 2005


MetaFilter: I'm not weirded out by it, I've fucked it
posted by ericost at 7:59 AM on January 20, 2005


It's an open forum and when we read stuff, we're going to have thoughts and opinions on it, and being asked not to share them is just sort of anti-thetical to how a lot of us are.

Then perhaps that lot should absent themselves from the site. Really. If you lack even the modicum of self control required to understand and adhere to the policy that AskMe is not a place for expressing whatever thoughts or opinions you have but rather a place to TRY TO ANSWER SPECIFIC QUESTIONS, then just go away, because you are bad for the site and we don't want you (this being directed only to those to whom it applies, not to anyone in particular by name). There is no compulsion to pound on your keyboard and hit enter sufficient to justify intentional transgression.
posted by rushmc at 8:00 AM on January 20, 2005


/me slings coffee at rushmc until normalization, smelling of, or waking occurs.

Dude, you're just pissed off 'cause you forgot again and tried to eat rocks last night. That, or you lit your butt on fire or something.
posted by loquacious at 8:01 AM on January 20, 2005


"Female women only, please! BOYS, BACK OFF - this means YOU, jonmc! No, really I'm serious! Absolutely no men. Shooo!!! Scat! So, I have a question about ..."

Ok, everyone who thinks this would actually keep jonmc from making one of his typical, off-the-cuff style comments, in his usual discursive, give-and-take style, raise your hand.
posted by kenko at 8:01 AM on January 20, 2005


dabitch, I was talking about your request for a "code" -- I didn't know if that was intended as hyperbole or sarcasm. I saw the sarcasm in "gross."
posted by pardonyou? at 8:04 AM on January 20, 2005


Then perhaps that lot should absent themselves from the site. Really

I didn't say it was a good thing, rush. It's just something that tends to make people chafe. When you percieve that you're being told that your opinions are irrelevant, it's almost like you're being told that you're irrelevant, which gets under your skin.
posted by jonmc at 8:04 AM on January 20, 2005


Oh, give loquacious a break, rushmc. It's a clumsy attempt to be conciliatory.

Besides, there's truth to what he says. At the risk of incurring great wrath by referring to Dave Bary, years ago I read some book of his about "guys" and he had a story of some guy who tried to vacuum up spilled gasoline with his wet/dry vacuum. Later, after he considered the fire, explosion, the loss of his appliance and near loss of life, it occurred to him that he had an old vacuum cleaner available to blow up for fun. Now, really, (mostly) only men think this way. (Irony is that this book belonged to the XSO of mine who's a physicist and she thought vacuums+gasoline=explosion seemed like a splendid idea.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:05 AM on January 20, 2005


The specific subject matter ("girl grossness", firearms, whatever) isn't relevant - situations like this should be covered under "Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer."

But people tend not to pay too much attention to that advisory. Maybe it should be more prominent.
posted by buxtonbluecat at 8:06 AM on January 20, 2005


Jon, I don't want to pile on here but you've been slapped around before for butting into AskMe threads with off topic comments. Offering a theory about men's reactions to periods is not even remotely answering the question posed.


It's an open forum and when we read stuff, we're going to have thoughts and opinions on it

You keep confusing the blue and the green.

My problem with you, as I've said before, is not sexism or anything like that, but simply your ignoring the spirit of AskMe. You were spot on in the argument over the gun thread when you objected to that particular asshattery. Why then go do the same thing?

That said, I do think it's unfair that other off topic comments were deleted but yours remains, making you look more of an ass than the original thread did. But Jon, sweetie, honey, quit chatting in AskMe! EVERYONE quit chatting in AskMe! Sheesh.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:06 AM on January 20, 2005


oh, I see pardonyou? that was hyperbole. yup.
posted by dabitch at 8:07 AM on January 20, 2005


It could have been anyone.

I dispute that.

a girl refering to her own bits as "gross" (common boy-wording for girl-bits) is indeed sarcastic.

Not necessarily. Sadly, many girls and women DO feel that way and suffer a negative body image.
posted by rushmc at 8:09 AM on January 20, 2005


That said, I do think it's unfair that other off topic comments were deleted but yours remains, making you look more of an ass than the original thread did. But Jon, sweetie, honey, quit chatting in AskMe!

Point taken, and I've been trying to improve on certain faults in my behavior here, lately. And I wouldn't have made my comment were it not for the other two. Believe it or not, I meant it as an attempt at a reconciliation, but I did it badly. So, I'll lay off the chatty kathy shit in the green. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, etc.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 AM on January 20, 2005


Oh fer effs sake people. Hypebole and sarcasm. Please stop picking the words apart and concentrate on what many people in here are saying. No replies in askme that are not actaul answers.

*spanks jonmc* Now, remember, do not make any chatty comments in askme in the future, no matter how many other fools did, or I will not spank you again.
posted by dabitch at 8:13 AM on January 20, 2005


I just tried to communicate why men get awkward around menstro-talk.

Well, if you want to advertise your ignorance about women, letting everyone know you feel awkward is a good start. Seriously, any men who are still acting "girlie" about menstruation are simply proving they have yet to develop a good relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

We know who you are and we are taking names.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:13 AM on January 20, 2005


I didn't say it was a good thing, rush. It's just something that tends to make people chafe.

Once again, we're having the exact same discussion we had at length in the other MeTa thread (and elsewhere). You insist on pointing out and trying to analyze people's (rather obvious) reactions, while I revert to the fact that THEY ARE IRRELEVANT. When you violate a rule, you should be held accountable for that, however you justify it to yourself. If someone murders someone, it is quite possible to analyze their motives and the emotional reactions that led them to do it, but that doesn't lessen their transgression or change the fact that they failed to control their impulse, and it shouldn't release them from responsibility. Understanding is not what's important here; limiting participation in AskMe to questions and answers is.
posted by rushmc at 8:15 AM on January 20, 2005


I don't think we should try and get the male MeFites to stop reading or posting on the female-oriented threads. Sometimes a man will have knowledge or thoughts that are pertinent, AND it's a great context for men to be exposed to women talking frankly about all that stuff, to try and learn a little and get over some of their 'eww' reflexes. Personally, I'd say that us women should encourage men to read and learn.

I do, however, have an issue with the knee-jerk, unclever, posts that people go out of their way to post because
1) most importantly, it's unhelpful and therefore completely counter to the purposes of AskMe
2) it does create a specifically anti-woman energy. Saying "ewww" everytime a MeFite brings up menstruation - a specifically female experience - says "A natural part of who you are is not welcome here". It makes the place feel unwelcoming to women. It only takes one or two jackasses.

For both these reasons, that asshatery should not be tolerated - and it wasn't. Matt has spoken. The offending comments are gone.
posted by raedyn at 8:16 AM on January 20, 2005


That said, I do hope that people refrain from sticking needles in your eye.
posted by rushmc at 8:16 AM on January 20, 2005


a girl refering to her own bits as "gross" (common boy-wording for girl-bits) is indeed sarcastic.

Not necessarily. Sadly, many girls and women DO feel that way and suffer a negative body image.


Eyup. Not to whup the pony or anything, but that's part of the reason why these comments are so irritating. There's nothing like asking a personal question about your vagina, only to have guys show up to essentially say "Your body is gross." While I know that's not usually the intention, that's the message being sent with these random, "Oh my god, girls and vaginas, run!" comments.
posted by headspace at 8:19 AM on January 20, 2005


You insist on pointing out and trying to analyze people's (rather obvious) reactions, while I revert to the fact that THEY ARE IRRELEVANT. When you violate a rule, you should be held accountable for that, however you justify it to yourself.

Agreed. But, we can use the fruits of that analysis (not neccessarily on the green, but in the community as a whole) to 1)keep our own reactions on an even keel, and 2)to try to create an enviornment where the motivations to trangress are minimized.
posted by jonmc at 8:20 AM on January 20, 2005


Oh fer effs sake people. Hypebole and sarcasm.

I think maybe the obtuse people who didn't recognize the obvious sarcasm are the same people who didn't recognize that the AskMe thread was about feminine hygiene. In any case, don't let it bug you. 95% of us aren't that obtuse, I reckon, and it's really kind of funny to imagine the other 5% turning red in the face over that particular bit of sarcasm.
posted by anapestic at 8:25 AM on January 20, 2005


/derail

I refuse to accept that I'm a self hating woman because I consider emiting great clumps of tissue and blood gross. I also think snot is gross. And earwax.

/derail
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:32 AM on January 20, 2005


"When you violate a rule, you should be held accountable for that, however you justify it to yourself."

Boy, does this go into some deep psychological places for me, as I'm sure it does for many others. As many who've been on the bad end of an abusive relationship (family, partner, whatever) can tell you, lots of abusive people either believe they are well-intentioned or they justify their actions on that basis. And the thing is, it's often the case that the abused person buys it. I did. Hell, I still have to fight the impulse—there may be a perverse positive relationship to trying to determining the abuser's state-of-mind and developing a certain sort of involuntary empathy. But, also, something that's true for me is that probably as the result of internalizing this emphasis on intent, I think a lot about my own motives and stupidly expect that my intentions should matter a great deal, that they can change the determination of a moral judgment quite a bit.

Which is hypocritical because, in regard to other people, I've long tried hard to dismiss intent and focus on actions.

Anyway, obviously intent does matter—in many situations in law it matters, even though it's hard to determine. We do naturally care about intent, and I don't think it should be completely disregarded. So, it seems to me that we should be initially generous and accept claims of intent as determinative maybe the first few times someone is hurtful or transgressive. After that, though, those claims should count for less and less and be considered more and more likely to be in the self-serving excuse category.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:41 AM on January 20, 2005


Yes, anapestic. Just for the record for anyone who is not sure, dabitch didn't really mean that we should have a special tag, I didn't really mean that we should use lots caps and exclamation marks saying "boys stay out", and none of actually think that being a woman is "gross". All that stuff was sarcasm.
posted by taz at 8:42 AM on January 20, 2005


You freak, what's gross about earwax?! WORSHIP THE EARWAX!!

Seriously, though, it has nothing to do with hate or worshipping periods as holy as far as I'm concerned- I was just as annoyed over the kerfuffle about the Brazilian Waxes as I am about this. [And am equally annoyed by tampon commercials that tout the zillion ways you can hide that you've ever had a period in your life. It's a tampon, yo, not a nuclear warhead, jesus!]

Anyway, I would just like to see questions about women's bodies treated at least as thoughtfully as the Why does restaurant food give me diarrhea?" question. Crap and uterine lining are both gross, but nobody felt the need to pop into the diarrhea thread to point out that poopies are nasty.
posted by headspace at 8:47 AM on January 20, 2005


hang on taz, lets tie your comment to this thick brick that loquacious just gave me and smack the 5% who will not get it over the head with that repeatedly... and then maybe it will stick.
posted by dabitch at 8:47 AM on January 20, 2005


you should probably expect some boyzone antics from the rude contingent

That's a little defeatist.

But the site is mixed company. Unhelpful answers are unhelpful answers, but men may have their own thoughts on Brazilians and contraception. I think you'd have to word the question pretty carefully to make it impossible for a man to give a legit answer. Like: "What do the labia feel while you get a Brazilian?"

I'm sympathetic, but only a little, to efforts to compartmentalize some space here for just this gender or just that sexual orientation, etc. There are other sites out there that offer that.
posted by scarabic at 8:47 AM on January 20, 2005


Aside to cunninglinguist: Honey, the river just keeps flowing. And it is far, far more intrusive than earwax or snot. Besides, when did you ever hear or see anyone get grossed out by a Kleenex commercial?

My point is, try to get over being uncomfortable or grossed out because you will have to deal with it for a very long time. And trust me, you will be happier if you aren't dismayed, upset, grossed out, or pissed off every time you get your period.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:54 AM on January 20, 2005


I refuse to accept that I'm a self hating woman because I consider emiting great clumps of tissue and blood gross. I also think snot is gross. And earwax.

So you're not a self-hating woman, you're a self-hating human. ;)

lots of abusive people either believe they are well-intentioned or they justify their actions on that basis

I'm not entirely sure what point you're trying to make here, but it seems to absolutely support my thesis, because those abusive people are wrong.
posted by rushmc at 8:54 AM on January 20, 2005


A post about boxers vs briefs or electric shavers will not result in 100 female posters feeling the need to post "Eeeeeeew! Boy parts! Groooooosssss!"

This got me wondering ... I wonder if there are any topics that would evoke an equivalent female squemishness. I would have to be something more biological and mysterious than boxers or shaving, as these are pretty easily shared, maybe hernias or misshapen testicles. Or perhaps most women just don't express that sentiment in the same way. Dunno.
posted by milovoo at 8:55 AM on January 20, 2005


milovoo, two words: Sack cheese.

On that note, the only thing I have to say at this point is: WHERE THE FUCK IS QUONSAR?!
posted by loquacious at 8:59 AM on January 20, 2005


To answer the original question -- do we need a code -- I think something like this might have pre-emptively shamed people out of the comments:

Menstruation appliances, MI. Don't be an asshole and tell us that periods are gross or messy, we know that already.

AskMeFemmes isn't clear to me. In my book, femme doesn't mean women, it means as-opposed-to-butch in the lesbian world, or it refers to men in drag.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:08 AM on January 20, 2005


I wholly agree with loquacious, re: men eating rocks. Based on having watched what men do, and based on being a man myself, I absolutely believe that Men Is Teh Dumb. Not all men, not all the time, not in all ways -- but enough so that, by god, if someone has just done something remarkably stupid, you can bet it was a man.

Fortunately, it somehow seems to work for us. We still make up nearly half the population, despite our best attempts to eliminate ourselves.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:09 AM on January 20, 2005


Is not being an asshole really so outside the realm of expected behavoir that threads need a specific "Don't be an asshole" request? Why can't people just, you know, stop being assholes?
posted by occhiblu at 9:11 AM on January 20, 2005


Why can't people just, you know, stop being assholes?

Well, as countless MeTa threads have illustrated: one persons assholery is another persons amusing vulgarity or gleeful transgression or pointed outspokeness.
posted by jonmc at 9:13 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


Perhaps everyone should be sorted by their sense of humor, maturity level, etc., and sections should be roped off for each group, and no one may enter any other group. To keep people from offending each other, see?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:18 AM on January 20, 2005


Matt, when are you going to start giving time outs to people who continue to make these same transgressions over and over again?
posted by pinkkitty at 9:18 AM on January 20, 2005


Us boys are dumb about girlstuff. We're not girls. Because of our culture, we're rarely exposed to anything truly feminine. Television advertisements for feminine products speak in fluffy-bunny code that reveals nothing to us, and frankly willfully furthers many myths and mysteries.

Guess what: "because of our culture," we gals are exposed to the same stuff as you! Those television advertisements using "fluffy-bunny code" revealing nothing to you? They reveal nothing to us either! Those media portrayals of the "feminine" that further the myth and mystery for you? Us too!

That comment is like me saying that I am dumb about men because I'm only exposed to beer commercials that use buxom bikini-clad twins, sports, and guys high-fiving as a window into the mind of man.

We all live in this culture. Being female does not automatically initiate you to the wonders of jumping through a field of flowers, riding a scooter in white pants, or feeling "carefree." In other words, it's a mystery to all of us.

Back to the point -- I really don't think it's too much to ask that a question be answered by the people who might actually know how to answer it. The great thing about the whole posting online thing is that no one can hear you saying "Eew! Gross!" or see you recoiling in horror at something you read that you don't like -- until you actually post something that articulates those reactions. So, how's about just read and learn, if you're a guy looking to not be "dumb about girlstuff."
posted by mothershock at 9:20 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


jonmc: even though I now realize that the comment was probably a bad idea, I actually thought I was contributing something useful,

But this juudgemental atmosphere (ntm, near universal misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say half the time) has consequences in other realms of the site.

When you percieve that you're being told that your opinions are irrelevant, it's almost like you're being told that you're irrelevant, which gets under your skin.

jonmc, I'm chiming in late, but I wanted to say something about your behavior in the thread and what you've said here (I've gone in and deleted all the off-topic comments, including yours).

First off, I don't want to sound like an armchair psychologist or that I'm being judgemental, but you do have a pattern of behavior here, where female members of the site are discussing something, you drop in, and all hell breaks loose. It has happened what, half a dozen times in as many weeks here? It doesn't seem to be happening to anyone else, so it's not a system-wide problem between the sexes.

Are you interpetting discussions between women as something that makes you feel irrelavant? Because you seem to drop into those situations a lot and the consequences aren't always pretty. Also, you play the victim a bit whenever discussions about this arise, but I'm having a hard time understanding why this keeps happening beyond your need to chime in any time two women are discussing something.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2005


Well, as countless MeTa threads have illustrated: one persons assholery is another persons amusing vulgarity or gleeful transgression or pointed outspokeness.

No. Assholery is pretty much assholery. Just because some people revel in it or enjoy the attention it brings doesn't make it anything other than assholery.

Like dabitch said earlier, every single thread that has anything to do with female genitalia gets stupid, obnoxious juvenile comments (the redwings post was particularly obnoxious and irrelevant). It's annoying and it's offputting and I can see how it would make some women reluctant to ask about such things.

That said, I don't think we need a special tag to deal with it. I think people just need to grow the fuck up.
posted by LeeJay at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2005


I wonder if there are any topics that would evoke an equivalent female squemishness.

rape haikus?

men may have their own thoughts on Brazilians and contraception.

...and if they answer the question they are more than welcome to share them. Women too. Perhaps it was just coincidental that all the off-topic joshing in that thread was by men. If I had posted "hey, dame used the word 'cunt' let's get all spazzy over that!" it would have been equally off-topic and worthy of deletion. However, the point that people have been trying to make is that this is a typical derail, it's tiresome, and we expect better. Same with the political threads, same with the guns at home thread, and the same with the anonymous sex threads that often, though not always, get peanut-gallery-level unhelpful commentary. We expect better in AskMe, and if it makes it a more palatable message to say that we expect the same level of decorum and non-fuckedupedness and helpful answering from ladies and gents, then so be it.
posted by jessamyn at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2005


First off, I don't want to sound like an armchair psychologist or that I'm being judgemental, but you do have a pattern of behavior here, where female members of the site are discussing something, you drop in, and all hell breaks loose.

DISCLAIMER: What I'm about to say is NOT about the thread that spawned this MeTa discussion, just general observations.

Actually, it's quite the opposite. I love women, not just in the sex sense, but in general, I kind of find "women stuff," and women's opinions kind of fascinating. At the same time, women and men live in the same world and interact with eachother quite a bit, so these things affect all of us. So I chime in with my perspective. I'm fairly frank, so that may upset people.

What I meant by being made to feel irrelevant is just an overriding thing that happens a lot here. The dismissive "the grown-ups are talking, go play," attitude that some users have.

And that when things are designated even implicity female/male/gay/republican-only, those not in the club will right or wrong, chafe at being dismissed.
posted by jonmc at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2005


I absolutely believe that Men Is Teh Dumb. Not all men, not all the time, not in all ways -- but enough so that, by god, if someone has just done something remarkably stupid, you can bet it was a man.

You're certainly making a good case for it with your remarks, but I continue to dispute it nevertheless.

I'm fairly frank, so that may upset people.

Dude, it's not your frankness that is upsetting people.

Please, read that three times and actually think about it before you respond.
posted by rushmc at 9:58 AM on January 20, 2005


I'm fairly frank, so that may upset people.

jonmc, I really like most of your contributions but this sort of defensive rationalizing makes me want to pull my hair out. I don't think anyone here is upset with the things you say in these particular threads because you're being so frank ("You can't handle the truth!"). They're upset because the things you say in these threads are irrelevant to the question being asked. You do it in a lot of the female oriented threads and it is annoying (and personally, I find it a tiny bit creepy). I had a feeling before I even read the Keeper thread that you would be in there saying something weird and there you were. Do you really want to come across as that kind of guy?
posted by LeeJay at 10:00 AM on January 20, 2005


DISCLAIMER: What I'm about to say is NOT about the thread that spawned this MeTa discussion, just general observations.

Why start now?

Heh, I joke. : )
posted by milovoo at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2005


I am SO looking forward to menopause right about now.

FWIW, the word cunt is pretty offensive to me and I wish people wouldn't use it, particularly in a serious thread about feminine hygiene.

And Jonmc, quit teasing the girls, willya, buddy?
posted by konolia at 10:05 AM on January 20, 2005


After the forty minute ride home from work at 3:30AM and then doing the pre-bedtime Interconnected Network round, I did not put two and two together.

However, I opened the topic and got a clear enough idea of what it related to, but didn't know what the items in question were. I asked my question, it was answered and I said I'd never heard of such a thing before.

I don't see why men feel the need to post ostensibly funny comments in such threads or say them in discussions. If you've been around women for any length of time, you know it's not welcome. It's like asking the bartender out.

Whether you think that's right or not is one thing, but don't act surprised when the wroth is created at your expense.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:10 AM on January 20, 2005


Dude, it's not your frankness that is upsetting people.

I know that it's not frankness in this instance, rush. I was more responding to matt's questions about my patterns of behavior in general.
posted by jonmc at 10:11 AM on January 20, 2005


We don't need a "No Boys Allowed" sign to hang on the front of certain AskMeta posts. We need people to read and follow the rule that's posted atop the comment box in AskMeta:

note: Ask MetaFilter is as useful as you make it. Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer. Wisecracks don't help people find answers. Thanks.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:15 AM on January 20, 2005


milovoo, two words: Sack cheese.

What?

No, don't tell me.
posted by orange swan at 10:18 AM on January 20, 2005


I'll be an armchair psychologist. I think jonmc's behavior is a sort of boyish naivete, certainly not intended to be sexist or misogynist. He's really trying to be friendly and cool with the "women and about women stuff". The underlying motivation for going out of his way to do so is (possibly) part unconscious voyeurism and part impulse to work out his various issues in relating to women.

I'm projecting, naturally, but I strongly suspect I'm right. I feel most or all of those things (not that strongly, but I'm sure I once did) in similar contexts; I just think I'm a lot more aware of my own inner state than jonmc in this regard.

It's very like a white person trying to fit in with black people. There are some white people that seem to gravitate, to go out of their way, to relate to black people. Some do it well. Either because they've overcome that sense of otherness and so their liking of black people isn't in a subtle way an insult; or because they're just really good actors. Others do it badly and it's embarassing for everyone involved.

Something tells me that jonmc interacts naturally and comfortably with people of color in a way that he's not yet managed with women. Why? Well, one clue is that I bet he'd never say something like "I kind of find 'black stuff,' and black people's opinions kind of fascinating." He instinctively knows, even if he can't exactly articulate why, that statement would go over very badly.

I guess I'm being a jerk for saying all this and armchair psychoanalyzing you, jonmc. Especially if I'm wrong. But I could be right; and if I am, then probably the best thing you could do, and the best thing any of us in similar situations could do, is to stop trying so hard because it's the trying so hard that underscores both to ourselves and the people we're trying hard with that, well, we have to try hard. And we have to try hard because we don't know how to interact with those people comfortably and naturally. And we don't know how to do that because...we deeply think of them as "other". If you quit worrying about it, and quit trying so hard, then you'll stop making as many "trying so hard" gaffes which, sadly and ironically, tend to underscore and solidify that barrier of "otherness".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:26 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


jonmc - You didn't have a perspective on the topic at hand: comparing 2 brands of [insert whatever the generic term for these products is]

What I meant by being made to feel irrelevant is just an overriding thing that happens a lot here.

Yes, I've seen it too. But sometimes a poster IS being completely irrelevant to the topic at hand. This is particularly annoying in AskMe. If a poster is trying to get help with how to fix their Windows, and someone just pops in to say only "windows suxx", that's against the spirit of the damn site. Even if they're saying "I find Windows facinating and even though I'm not a Windows user, I like to listen to Windows users talk about their Windows problems." That is still not helpful. At all.

What frustated me about your posts in that thread was that it was a post meant to talk to other women. If a man had useful things to say, great. But you came in and gave your thoughts about why men are sqeamish, and explained that you are not squeamish, and tried to make it a thread about YOU. It's not about you, man.
posted by raedyn at 10:32 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


Oooh, oohh! Shrink me next!!!
posted by trharlan at 10:32 AM on January 20, 2005


Even if they're saying "I find Windows facinating and even though I'm not a Windows user, I like to listen to Windows users talk about their Windows problems." That is still not helpful. At all.

The part about not being helpful is correct. On the green. But the issues being hashed out here affect the blue as well. And the Windows analogy is flawed in that Windows is a consumer product that one need not interact with at all if one so desires. But people of different genders do have to interact with eachother all the time, and getting the other genders perspective can be a good thing.

But not in AskMe, and not in that thread particularly, I'll admit.
posted by jonmc at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2005


Sorry, I think I'm already risking being sued by an armchair lawyer for armchair malpractice. Or punched in the nose. And you'd do it, too, trharlan, you know you would.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:40 AM on January 20, 2005


No nose punch forthcoming, EB, although I may stiff you on the bill. But you were somewhat on target, sad to say.
posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on January 20, 2005


whew
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:44 AM on January 20, 2005


Getting the other gender's perspective is easy - read the thread. If you have nothing to contribute to answer the question, though, then it should be understood that you will not be commenting.
posted by agregoli at 10:45 AM on January 20, 2005


raedyn has a very good point. If there's a male member of Metafilter who works in product development for a tampon company, or is a gynecologist, then their contributions would probably add value to the discussion. But just an average guy with a passing acquaintance with a vulva or two? Nah.
posted by tizzie at 10:45 AM on January 20, 2005


The part about not being helpful is correct. On the green.

Since this post was on the green, I don't see what further needs to be discussed.
posted by adampsyche at 10:50 AM on January 20, 2005


And the Windows analogy is flawed in that Windows is a consumer product that one need not interact with at all if one so desires.

So was the product being asked about in the AskMe thread, which is what raedyn was talking about. Or, what adam said.
posted by jessamyn at 10:51 AM on January 20, 2005


"Oooh, oohh! Shrink me next!!!"

trharlan

Ta-da!

*bows*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:52 AM on January 20, 2005


Jon, I don't want to pile on here

3, 2, 1... GANGBANG!!!

no, seriously jon, you're a decent guy but as mathowie and others pointed out you have a bit of the proverbial bull-in-the-china-shop thing when you comment in some askme threads -- whether it's about Brazilian waxes or periods, you seem to have very black-and-white opinions and, believe me, they're not representative of all men, not even of a sizable portion of them. they're mostly your opinion and you try to color them with a "believe me female users, I'm a guy and we all think like this" touch.

oh, and I don't even have the slightest problem with menstruation. if you do, it's mostly your problem, not other men's
posted by matteo at 10:52 AM on January 20, 2005


You're certainly making a good case for it with your remarks, but I continue to dispute it nevertheless.

Sigh. What's with the slagging there, rush? You trying to prove you're a typical male, gotta get a punch in where you can, gonna prove you're on top? I don't see anything in what I wrote that merits a snide "you're making a good case of it" bit of bullshit.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2005


I haven't had a chance to read through this whole thing, but next time someone makes an example of me, an email or a link in the thread would be nice.
posted by dame at 11:12 AM on January 20, 2005


konolia: FWIW, the word cunt is pretty offensive to me and I wish people wouldn't use it, particularly in a serious thread about feminine hygiene.

konolia, I don't know if you read this discussion, but keep in mind that not all women find the word cunt offensive. I was actually glad to see dame refer to her girly bits as her cunt, as I'm interested in reclaiming the word.

posted by Specklet at 11:18 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


I really hate being called "Men."

No matter who says it.
posted by chicobangs at 11:18 AM on January 20, 2005


You are not being made an example of my friend, the guys with their annoying "icky ew cooties" comments in yours - and all other femme related threads are. You know the type, the ones who like to discuss feminine stuff with women because we're like fascinating and stuff.... They are the target of this callout. Not the the regular (Mr) Joe user who has valid input in a femme-thread.

*starts doing the whole explanation again, this time in sign-language*
posted by dabitch at 11:22 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


*starts doing the whole explanation again, this time in sign-language*

dabitch, I demand mime!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:38 AM on January 20, 2005


Well, let's just say when I'm being typed about I'd like to know. To address a few things that were said when I wasn't invited:

1. "AskMeFemmes" wasn't intended to exclude boys entirely, but to say, "There will be talk about girly parts. If you don't want to talk about girly parts, please move on." It was my boy who turned me on to the Keeper in the first place (and kept hassling me till I bought one), so I assure you, I know men can have useful things to say on all topics.

2. Though I think it is too bad some people didn't get the above the fold bit, once inside the question was obvious. Thus the "you were too elliptical" comment leaks like an oval Keeper. Others have done a good job of explaing why.

3. Personally, I don't mind the piggybacking questions, even the "I'm sort of clueless, please tell me more" posted by Captiantripps. I am happy to talk about my cunt all day long if we avoid "ewww."

4. Konolia, I'm sorry you don't like what I call mine, but it's mine, so I can call it whatever I want: even "mathowie," if I so choose.
posted by dame at 11:46 AM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


What specklet said about "cunt."

What everyone else said about inappropriate commenting in AskMe.

jonmc, you clearly get it, maybe it's just an impulse control issue. You know it's wrong. You know your comments will create an uproar. You know you're going to once again get called out in the gray. And yet you hit the post button time after time. I think you like the attention (especially from women not that you have any difficulties getting attention from women).
posted by Juicylicious at 11:52 AM on January 20, 2005


Right, my apologies for not emailing you about this MeTa (I almost posted in the thread, I should have.)

*mimes an apology complete with rose between teeth to make the madamjujujive happy too*
posted by dabitch at 11:56 AM on January 20, 2005


jonmc, I am highly offended by your use of the phrase "chatty kathy." Are you inferring that ALL Kathy's are chatty? I tell you, I have HAD it with the anti-Kathy sentiments expressed at this deplorable Web site.
posted by tr33hggr at 11:57 AM on January 20, 2005


EB's shrinking sounded on target to me, gotta say.
I'm a bit surprised how much everyone was upset by this, as I kind of like the idea that can all talk about stuff in this forum that people don't necessarily share so much IRL. In other words, boys showing up & asking about diva cups seems generally a positive thing, even if some dumb *yikes* comments get made as well - then it's just an opportunity to tell them, don't worry, it's not that big a deal.

I refuse to accept that I'm a self hating woman because I consider emiting great clumps of tissue and blood gross. I also think snot is gross. And earwax.

Yeah, we don't need to pretend that menstruation is beautiful or magical do we? It's bloody and sticky and can be a real mess. I mean, it's kind of interesting too; it's less icky than defecation or vomit, but probably about equal to snot in yuck terms. Not that we need to compare various bodily fluids... I just think that menses seems to get a free pass because it's particular to women
posted by mdn at 11:59 AM on January 20, 2005


And the Windows analogy is flawed in that Windows is a consumer product that one need not interact with at all if one so desires.
This thread was about a consumer product that one need not interact with at all if one so desires. It was not a thread about "women", but about a product for women. Mac users can certainly read threads about Windows, and they might have some useful knowledge about Windows, but it's not helpful for a Mac user to share their general opinions about PC's in a thread comparing versions of Windows.

In this thread, jonmc, you were the Mac user waxing philosophical about PC's in general, not talking about the product specific question.*

But people of different genders do have to interact with eachother all the time, and getting the other genders perspective can be a good thing. Yes, absolutely! I am often appreciative of the different perspectives I get. Like in the AskMe thread about the word "cunt". We heard from people of both genders, and of various opinions, and the answers were thoughtful and relevant, and they made me think. From both the women and the men. I was glad it wasn't only one gender or one perspective on that thread. But it's not always approprite.

But not in AskMe, and not in that thread particularly, I'll admit. Thank you.

*no offence intended if any of the parties involved have PC/Mac preferences. I know those alliances rival religion in importance. =)
posted by raedyn at 12:01 PM on January 20, 2005


Thanks, dabitch. *Blows kiss*

Also, I would like to slightly mitigate the Jonmc thing by pointing out that we are friends and I do enjoy arguing with him, so that now-deleted exchange wasn't so terrible as it might have seemed. That said, it belonged in email.

On preview: mdn, I am so with you on the interesting thing. That's actually another plus to the Keeper/Cup (for anyone keeping track): you can see how the consistency of menses and incidence of tissue clots change, which I think I neat. (Yes, I also think snot is neat.)
posted by dame at 12:03 PM on January 20, 2005


jonmc, you clearly get it, maybe it's just an impulse control issue. You know it's wrong. You know your comments will create an uproar. You know you're going to once again get called out in the gray. And yet you hit the post button time after time.

For the last time (and dabitch can mime and do sign language for me), what I said made more sense before the other comments by ssf and dame were deleted. But I have copped to the fact that it was an inappropriate place to do it, and quite frankly, I'm as tired of this whole routine as everybody else is. If we have to do this, can someone else play tackling dummy for a while?

Not that we need to compare various bodily fluids...

well, there's a lot to be said for some nice bile....
posted by jonmc at 12:03 PM on January 20, 2005


once again I'm going to be made the posterboy for MeFi Misogyny

jonmc, I wouldn't pile on except that you keep doing this and you keep apologizing and explaining and saying you won't do it again and then you do it again and you apologize and explain all over again and trot out the same defensive non-excuses about your manly nature and need to show you're not a pussy excuse the expression and it never ends, and you never seem to quite assimilate the problem people are having because you keep saying irrelevant things like the quote above.

Nobody thinks you're a misogynist.

Nobody (as far as I can tell) thinks you're an asshole.

Everybody thinks you butt in and make irrelevant and unhelpful comments way too often, even after repeated requests (even by mathowie, who usually avoids getting into personalized slapdowns) to stop.

So stop already.

On preview:
can someone else play tackling dummy for a while?

This is within your power to bring about!
posted by languagehat at 12:11 PM on January 20, 2005


*starts doing the whole explanation again, this time in sign-language*

At this point we're going to need pictograms and red circles with slashes.

"Show me on the doll where the bad MetaTalk touched you."
posted by fandango_matt at 12:34 PM on January 20, 2005


"Well, let's just say when I'm being typed about I'd like to know."—dame

Is Matt going to enforce that, I wonder?

"Yeah, we don't need to pretend that menstruation is beautiful or magical do we? It's bloody and sticky and can be a real mess."—mdn

I tend to think that this is yet another example of an understandable and possibly necessary social overcorrection. I mean, the context here are millennia of "clean/unclean" religious laws and the like. It's gonna take some powerful juju to compensate for that. But I've always sort of thought that there's bound to be some built-in barrier eventually because it's so much like blood. Or maybe not. We're carnivores. Hmm.

Jon's taken his lumps.

"Konolia, I'm sorry you don't like what I call mine, but it's mine, so I can call it whatever I want: even 'mathowie,' if I so choose...."—dame

No you can't, and you know that you can't. If you don't, your example using "mathowie" will give you a clue to the enlightening line of reasoning why you can't.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:34 PM on January 20, 2005


I tried to read this thread--I really did; but I didn't finish. Anyway, it seemed to be going in circles when I stopped, so I'll just chime in with a couple thoughts.

1. If I read AskMe--I rarely do--I would want to read that thread, but not to comment. I'd want to read it because as a guy I think it's important to have some understanding of what's going on with women, rather than filing it away in the "ewww gross" category.

2.
Can't we just keep it at something like: "1) Answer the goddam question or keep your trap shut; and, 2) If you're a man, and over the age of nine, then "ooh, yucky girl stuff!" is really fucking annoying and intolerable and why don't you go away already? (And if you're nine or younger, does your parents know you're reading metafilter?"


Why should anyone need to put such a lengthy disclaimer on every post about a women's topic? The intent of the thread was pretty clear if you ask me. Part of the reason I stopped reading AskMe was that I had too many impulses to post impishly, and it wasn't constructive. So I mostly cut myself off. I'm sure the site doesn't miss me at all, just as I'm sure it wouldn't miss jonmc's regular off-topicness.

Nobody thinks you're a misogynist.

I think occasionally he unwittingly displays the latent misogyny that's characteristic of most western males and have debated it with him in the confines of far more appropriate threads. Other times he just seems far too attached to social gender roles (the lame ones) than I'm comfortable with. The only reason I point this out is so you understand that he has some reason to feel like people believe this about him.

And, for the record, I don't think he's particularly an asshole, or even all that bad a guy. I'm just coming from a different place than he is on these issues and I try--perhaps vainly--to change his view of them.

I still think he should STFU with his off-topic comments though ;)
posted by The God Complex at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2005


"Well, let's just say when I'm being typed about I'd like to know."—dame

Is Matt going to enforce that, I wonder?


No, but it is common courtesy when a thread ends up being a lot about something you posted. In this case, dabitch didn't mean for it to be about that thread and just didn't think to email me. She apologized and that's fine. It wasn't a fiat, just a request. A request that used to be S.O.P. around here, I believe.

"Konolia, I'm sorry you don't like what I call mine, but it's mine, so I can call it whatever I want: even 'mathowie,' if I so choose...."—dame

No you can't, and you know that you can't. If you don't, your example using "mathowie" will give you a clue to the enlightening line of reasoning why you can't.


I could so name her mathowie. You may not know what I'm talking about, but if I decide her name is mathowie, then that's it. I suppose I could say, "My cunt, which I have named mathowie . . ." and then go on from there.

However, the bigger question here is what is your fucking problem? Do you just get this unbearable urge to pick on me and begin typing without any way of stopping yourself? Do you not understand humor? Do you not think site norms apply to me? Are you just really bored?
posted by dame at 12:57 PM on January 20, 2005


Do you not understand humor?

I ask this question every time EB responds with the utmost sincerity to a humorous barb. Don't take it personally. He just has a quirky way of interacting; I'm beginning to think it has a certain other-worldly charm.
posted by The God Complex at 1:01 PM on January 20, 2005


I think occasionally he unwittingly displays the latent misogyny that's characteristic of most western males and have debated it with him in the confines of far more appropriate threads.

Well, it's not neccessarily unwittingly. People seem to be mystified at why certain people think certain things. I sometimes make an attempt at explaining my theories, and oftentimes I may be sympathetic to the human foibles that produce such beliefs, which can lead to some confusion.
posted by jonmc at 1:05 PM on January 20, 2005


I think what EB is saying, which is lost in the flood of words is...

If you are using cunt to refer to your vagina as a way to reclaim the word from the patriarchal slang, then it is not the same if you call it matthowie, because then you're calling your vagina matthowie just to to prove you can name it whatever the hell you want, which is something entirely different.

I could be wrong though. I tend to skim a lot of his stuff because my eyes end up crossing.
posted by FunkyHelix at 1:08 PM on January 20, 2005


Can you explain more Funky? I think I only half get what you're saying. If it makes any difference, I don't call my girly bits a cunt because I'm "reclaiming"; I just think it's the word that suits my mathowie (she only has one "t") best.
posted by dame at 1:15 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


If you'll bear with me, let me try to explicate a little further.

A lot of people seem to treat sexism, racism and homophobia with the same level of superstition and amorphos fear that Christian fundamentalists apply to Satan and Evil; that they're free floating forces that can infect you unless you properly appease the right gods.

The truth, as I see it, is that these things are the result of political and economic forces, psychological quirks and normal human foibles like envy, anger, and pride. People who hold bigoted beliefs (which if we are honest, means just about everybody) are not demons or monsters, they're humans. It's a hate the sin, love the sinner type of deal to me. We lock up murderers and rapists, true, but we also make some effort to investigate where their behavior originates. When it comes to the social ills, I've described above, we seem to get skittish.

Should we tolerate the concrete ramifications of these prejudices or the outward display thereof? Hell, no. Should we speak frankly about prejudices, including our own to attempt to get to the bottom of them? Hell yes.

Maybe what I just said helps make some of the things I've said in the past make more sense.
posted by jonmc at 1:17 PM on January 20, 2005


So Dame, have you claimed "matthowie" as your cunt's official name yet? If not, I want dibs on it (the name, not your cunt).
posted by Juicylicious at 1:19 PM on January 20, 2005


I've usually understood that aspect of your arguments, jonmc. I was referring more directly to instances where you expound your personal beliefs--like our back and forth in the High-IQ-Women-Don't-Marry thread. I see a lot of what I consider unfavourable reinforcements of negative gender roles in these discussions, which is what I was talking about above.

But there's no point having this argument again already. Maybe in a few months ;) You should still stop the off-topic commenting though.
posted by The God Complex at 1:24 PM on January 20, 2005


Can you explain more Funky? I think I only half get what you're saying. If it makes any difference, I don't call my girly bits a cunt because I'm "reclaiming"; I just think it's the word that suits my mathowie (she only has one "t") best.

Ah, well there you go. EB is thinking you're reclaiming the word, and you're coming from a totally different direction. So neither of you is understanding the other.

Some women use cunt, pussy, happy hairy clam, floppy pink taco, and etc as a way to reclaim the words and take the negative out of it by using them in an empowering way. It's the same argument homosexuals use when calling each other fag. The context and meaning is changed to take the sting out of it.

So EB, thinking this was what you were doing, pointed out that by calling your vagina mathowie (one t, oops), you weren't really reclaiming anything.
posted by FunkyHelix at 1:25 PM on January 20, 2005


where female members of the site are discussing something, you drop in, and all hell breaks loose

Unfortunately, I think his reputation preceeds him a lot of the time. That is, now that enough people have called him out for derailing females only! no boyz! threads, any comments he makes, whether constructive or not, are going to be pounced upon. I know a lot of MeFemmes will deny this outright, suggesting something like "Well, if he made useful comments, we wouldn't lash out", but it seems like some people have to put little fences around property that is not their exclusive area, then become crazed when trespassers cross the gender Maginot line, regardless of their intent.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:29 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


No, that's not what I was saying.

I was saying that it's possible to transgress against someone by using a name in public for something you have a right to name. I wasn't so much hoping dame would use #1's username as inspiration for the hinted-at line of thought, as I was hoping she'd consider the various ways in which #17477's might be used. In public. To refer to someone's private bits.1

Also, there's never been a generally recognized right to be informed whenever one is discussed, even incidentally. Dame may be confusing the courtesy of letting people know they've been called-out in meta with this generalized "right to know if someone's talking about me, or mentioned my name, or said something about someone doing something in a thread that I posted" right.

Which is, I guess, sort of an easy mistake to make.

1 Why would I care, you ask? Well, I don't know, I sort of thought that getting all in konolia's face about it was being awfully pissy in response to a relatively inoccuous comment and doing so with an absurd rationale. It's the sort of behavior that gives cunts a bad name.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:38 PM on January 20, 2005


C_D: Who exactly has said any thread should be "females only!"?
posted by dame at 1:39 PM on January 20, 2005


*eyes slowly cross*
posted by FunkyHelix at 1:39 PM on January 20, 2005


Are you serious, dame? I know a lot of women here seem to have gone back on their initial statements (now we're graciously allowed to answer!), but unless Matt codes in a way to block certain genders, Female women only, please! BOYS, BACK OFF - this means YOU, jonmc! No, really I'm serious! Absolutely no men. Shooo!!! Scat!, and the boys kindly stay out is what I'm talking about.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:01 PM on January 20, 2005


Bligh: You are the most condescending and useless fucktard I have ever been cursed with. I think this is Jeebus' payback for all those times I've asked him to set people on fire.

The notification issue: It's fuzzy. The thread was clearly inspired by my AskMe, though dabitch wanted it to refer to girl threads more boadly. However, in the second comment, geekyguy referred to that thread specifically and, until it became about jonmc, this thread was fairly solidly about that one. I wasn't being "called out" because dabitch wasn't bothered by me, but really this should have been linked in that thread. Dabitch agreed and apologized; I understood how it happened and it was over until you decided to start shit because you enjoy starting shit with me (as you have admitted). For someone who pretends to have nuanced thoughts, you sure can act dumb when you want to.

On cunts: Konolia complained about what I decided to call *my mathowie* in a thread about *my mathowie*. I didn't get in her face; I responded. I know you don't always get my tone, and you know that too--one would think this would lead to you giving me the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping down my throat. Then again, that one would have to aware of your inability to resist the first opportunity to condescend.
posted by dame at 2:02 PM on January 20, 2005


Oh, you just don't get my tone, dame. It's not condescending, it's amiable. Really, it's your problem, not mine if you're upset.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:06 PM on January 20, 2005


*puts on neon-orange vest, picks up orange airport torches, signals Civil_Disobedient all the way upthread to where the words hyperbole and sarcasm and sign-language explanations are.*
posted by dabitch at 2:08 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


EB, give it a rest, please.
posted by dabitch at 2:09 PM on January 20, 2005


C_D: I *know* the second one was a joke and I believe the third was hyperbole. The first may have been response to an interpreted need as opposed to advocacy, but I will admit that one is fuzzy. All together, it seems that the vast majority of women in this thread were saying they would prefer boys who cannot help acting like asses remove themselves from the temptation. You will notice that the man who asked a genuine question in that thread got a perfectly pleasant response in under fifteen minutes.

None of the responses seem to warrant generalizations such as:

it seems like some people have to put little fences around property that is not their exclusive area, then become crazed when trespassers cross the gender Maginot line, regardless of their intent.
posted by dame at 2:11 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


Civil_, don't worry — we're not really trying to keep you out of menstruation threads. That would be mean! We were just trying to say don't come in just to fart around.
posted by taz at 2:13 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


But I thought farts were funny? Jeez, I am so confused now.
posted by tr33hggr at 2:17 PM on January 20, 2005


Only in the bathtub, tr33hggr.
posted by taz at 2:20 PM on January 20, 2005


Did he actually set the people on fire? If so, would you mind emailing me how you got him to do that? I would find it useful on occasion. I'd start an AskMe thread asking the same question, but now seems like not the best time.
posted by anapestic at 2:23 PM on January 20, 2005


Well, dame, I understand your reasoning, I do, and maybe it's a generational thing, but to me "cunt" is such an insulting ugly term for the body part in question....it's kinda hard for me to get past my initial reaction to it. Beside's, what's wrong with just calling it a vagina?

I guess we can just agree to disagree.
posted by konolia at 2:29 PM on January 20, 2005


Forget Jeebus. I'd like them to put a button on my keyboard that would allow me to set fire to a user remotely. It would bring new meaning to the phrase flame war.
posted by FunkyHelix at 2:29 PM on January 20, 2005


So Dame, have you claimed "matthowie" as your cunt's official name yet? If not, I want dibs on it (the name, not your cunt).

Huh. I thought yours would've been named...
Juicylicious.

posted by Specklet at 2:31 PM on January 20, 2005


What the heck is ugly about the word "cunt?" It's positively cute compared to the drawn-out "vagina."
posted by agregoli at 2:38 PM on January 20, 2005


Konolia, it's an ancient word (see Chaucer), and it has the great virtues of being melifluous slang (unlike the formal, latinate name), and not being inherently demeaning (such as a word for an animal). If it has shock value, then it does so purely as a word meaning "vagina"; and if if has greater offensiveness than, say, "cock", then it does so for reasons related to sexism and the status of women and how women are percieved vis a vis their sexuality. The first two things make it generally attractive. The last coupled with the others make it especially attractive to feminists wanting to "reclaim" a particularly hurtful word (a strategy known to work: see "queer"; doing this is pretty empowering). I think you'll see this with increasing frequency...you might as well start to accustom yourself to it. Not to deny the reality of your visceral negative reaction to it, which many people share.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:41 PM on January 20, 2005


I had a feeling before I even read the Keeper thread that you would be in there saying something weird and there you were. Do you really want to come across as that kind of guy?

Exactly. I read that topic and thought to myself quietly, 'I wonder how long until jonmc says something creepy and inappropriate and this thread goes off the rails?' Then I opened the thread, and it had already happened.

But to be fair to jonmc, I also thought, 'Or, you know, someone, since it's bound to happen.'
posted by jacquilynne at 2:41 PM on January 20, 2005


This thread just cracks me up! And as a proud owner of a mathowie, lemme just say that mathowies rule!

Dame, for the record, i think my mathowie's nicer than yours...so there! :-)
posted by ramix at 2:51 PM on January 20, 2005


Konolia: I can agree to disagree. Should I have occaision to speak of your special part, I will call it a vagina. You can call mine a mathowie. She doesn't like vagina and has threatened to team up with Jeebus and set me on fire if I call her one.

EB: Assuming I made a mistake and then explaining it to the audience in third person when we interpreted an ambigous situation differently is condescending. And I'm not "upset." I am annoyed and pissed off by your need to insert yourself into two situations that had no need for you in order to needle me. I know you don't like me and we disagree. I know we don't communicate well, so when you say something I think is dumb I usually leave it alone. The same respect would be welcome.
posted by dame at 2:54 PM on January 20, 2005


So, really, where's quonsar?
posted by FunkyHelix at 3:04 PM on January 20, 2005


Sounds like somebody's got sand in their mathowie.

I just can't figure out who.
posted by coelecanth at 3:05 PM on January 20, 2005


Okay, me and my big, throbbing dametamer will leave you alone. By the weay, have I mentioned my dametamer? It's what other people call their "penis". I like this new trend you've fashioned of naming one's privates and being able to do so without concern for offense. And you are so obviously keen to promote it! I'm sure it will be all the rage. Fun! I've never given mine a name before, but I guess I do now see the attraction.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:08 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


I wholly agree with loquacious, re: men eating rocks. Based on having watched what men do, and based on being a man myself, I absolutely believe that Men Is Teh Dumb. Not all men, not all the time, not in all ways -- but enough so that, by god, if someone has just done something remarkably stupid, you can bet it was a man.

This is indeed a pretty dumb statement in itself. There are many types of intelligence out there, from the quick wit of wordplay to the ability to change a tire. People love to attribute various types of intelligence to men or women at various times and crack wise about how much smarter one is than the other. In fact, with the exception of some documented minor differences in average intelligence in different areas, this is all just claptrap that reveals the speaker's own sexist beliefs, or their own personal bias about what kinds of intelligence are more important.
posted by scarabic at 3:14 PM on January 20, 2005


Just when i thought this thread couldn't get any better, EB introduces us to his dametamer! I'm sitting here at work laughing so hard i'm practically peeing my pants!

Er... so if EB puts his dametamer in dame's mathowie, what happens?
posted by ramix at 3:16 PM on January 20, 2005


I want to thank the rational and compassionate men on this thread, for showing that masculinity is not one-dimensional;
I want to thank the healthy, assertive women here, who have patiently shown that they still don't need the stuff - on Mefi, of all places - that men use to put them down,
and of course, thanks to the guys who publicly picked up on their errors, admitted them, and quite courageously said - I'm gonna try to do better.

I have been fully occupied at work today, didn't spot this till too late; otherwise, I guess I'd have been quicker to get in with my tuppence. Halfway through this episode of 'As the e-Blog Turns', I am breaking to put the kettle on. I hope this one has a happy ending...

I really have had enough of the scheming mustachioe'd cad - ain't it time he fell off a cliff?
posted by dash_slot- at 3:16 PM on January 20, 2005


I don't see anything in what I wrote that merits a snide "you're making a good case of it" bit of bullshit.

Sorry, when someone makes a fatuous general statement denegrating my entire gender, I take offense, no less than the womenfolk do when it happens to them.
posted by rushmc at 3:23 PM on January 20, 2005


Ramix: let's just not go there, 'k? In fact, let's just back away from that one as quickly as possible. Nothing good could come from that. Not here, not there—nay, not anywhere!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:24 PM on January 20, 2005


I've named my asshole Ethereal Bligh.
posted by FunkyHelix at 3:24 PM on January 20, 2005 [1 favorite]


I'm the guy who posted a question about men blowdrying their testicles, so I'm going to stay out of the fray, if I can.

This thread did make me think of an AskMe question, though, which I don't think I'll bother posting : One quite often hears and reads references, mostly from a couple of decades back, about men naming their penises. Do guys really do that? Did they ever?

Also, Metafilter: 95% of us aren't that obtuse.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:24 PM on January 20, 2005


E.B.

"I sort of thought that getting all in konolia's face about it was being awfully pissy" = amiable?

"Really, it's your problem, not mine if you're upset." != condescending?

Can i live in your magical world where we get to give our own interesting definitions to adjectives? I betcha i'd get all the ladies on the Nerve personals then.
posted by lips at 3:31 PM on January 20, 2005


I was trying to think of a way to tell EB how peevish and annoying he was to name his member dametamer, but I couldn't have come up with anything better than:

I've named my asshole Ethereal Bligh.
posted by Specklet at 3:33 PM on January 20, 2005



Okay, me and my big, throbbing dametamer will leave you alone. By the weay, have I mentioned my dametamer? It's what other people call their "penis". I like this new trend you've fashioned of naming one's privates and being able to do so without concern for offense. And you are so obviously keen to promote it! I'm sure it will be all the rage. Fun! I've never given mine a name before, but I guess I do now see the attraction.


Your parallel here is ridiculous, in that you imply that simply naming one's cunt "mathowie" is itself as demeaning as implying that your penis will "tame" dame. For a self-professed feminist, you're fucking dense. I also think you willfully misconstrue people in order to claim moral and intellectual superiority--perhaps you should look into this; it may account for some of your social awkwardness.
posted by The God Complex at 3:39 PM on January 20, 2005


To refer to someone's private bits.

Think about what you're saying there, EB. You're implying that naming a "private bit" after someone is somehow more offensive than naming a pet or an elbow after them. Pondering why you feel that way might be rather telling.

Also, although you meant it to be humorous (and it was semantically clever), please note that in your neologism, dametamer, you went beyond naming your penis after someone and introduced an element of dominance and control that was entirely lacking in dame's usage.
posted by rushmc at 3:40 PM on January 20, 2005


I've named my asshole Ethereal Bligh.

So now when you sit down with a magazine, you'll be "Having an E.B.". Not to be confused with standing up and "Going P.P."
posted by fandango_matt at 3:43 PM on January 20, 2005


For the record, I would be honored should anyone decided to call his penis a dame.
posted by dame at 3:50 PM on January 20, 2005


MetaFilter: I want to put my dame in your mathowie.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:51 PM on January 20, 2005


Personally I call my bits 'molly', but I can't remember why!
posted by kamylyon at 3:53 PM on January 20, 2005


(I know this is off-topic, but I'm not sure it matters at this point.)

My mother had a friend who called her cunt "Possible", because when she was a little girl, her grandmother would call her in from playing to wash for dinner and would tell her to "wash in the sink as far as possible". She, being a child, could wash just about to her pubic bone.
posted by Specklet at 4:01 PM on January 20, 2005


...in that you imply that simply naming one's cunt "mathowie" is itself as demeaning as implying that your penis will "tame" dame.

You inferred that, I didn't imply it.

I didn't expect to have to explain this, actually. It's not in the "matthowie" where there is the offense, it's in dame calling her vagina a "cunt" in public where there is the offense. Not to me, but at least to konolia. Dame's response was that she could call her vagina anything she wanted and to use that name in public...and no one had the right to take offense. She said she could call it "matthowie" for example. Well, it was obvious to me that just having a body part doesn't give a person carte blanche to use any word they want to describe it and be exempt from social conventions or worrying about offending someone; but her example of "matthowie" made that even more clear: one could name their private bits something that was directly insulting to someone...but, by her rules, that someone couldn't possibly object. That's stupid. The principle she was using to justify offending konolia was stupid and self-serving. I tried several different times to very vaguely make this point. She didn't get it. She also thinks using matt's username for her vagina is funny. Somehow I expect that if, out of the blue, someone like, say, jonmc started calling his penis "dame" around metafilter, she wouldn't be nonchalant about it.

Also, she's the one who went off the deep end, called me names and the like. I had been determined to allude to the possibility of offending her via her naming rationale used against her and not actually offend her by using her naming rationale against her. At some point, after the various invective, I really didn't care so much anymore.

Oh, also, the "I was joking defense" which is damn rich occuring in this thread in this context. It's funny—well, no it's not, it's tragic—that it always seems to depend on who's ox is being gored.

Here, for those with short memories or broken mouse wheels, is my initially deeply risble comment which provoked a "what is your fucking problem?" response:
Is Matt going to enforce that, I wonder?

...

No you can't, and you know that you can't. If you don't, your example using "mathowie" will give you a clue to the enlightening line of reasoning why you can't.
Gasp!

On Preview: Well, then, good for you. Consistency is admirable.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:05 PM on January 20, 2005


someone like, say, jonmc started calling his penis "dame" around metafilter, she wouldn't be nonchalant about it.

Now I know how Clarence Thomas feels whenever the Supreme Court has to review a case involving porn.
posted by jonmc at 4:09 PM on January 20, 2005


Jeez, I'm embarrassed for some members today (I use the word advisedly).
posted by dash_slot- at 4:13 PM on January 20, 2005


/off-topic

Specklet: Coolest story I've read around here in a long time. Thanks for sharing. Astonishing to find such a gem in the middle of this...

/0ff-topic
posted by Man O' Straw at 4:14 PM on January 20, 2005


"Now I know how Clarence Thomas feels whenever the Supreme Court has to review a case involving porn."

Secretly titillated and hoping to catch Sandra Day O'Connor's eye? You're a man of many quirks, jonmc.

Me, I just sort of find myself wondering if Souter is naked under his robe, or imagine Ruth wielding the lash.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:31 PM on January 20, 2005


Specklet: that's a great story.
posted by cmyk at 4:32 PM on January 20, 2005


EB, I'm just going to back away, and we will never speak of this agian.
posted by jonmc at 4:32 PM on January 20, 2005


puts on neon-orange vest, picks up orange airport torches, signals Civil_Disobedient all the way upthread to where the words hyperbole and sarcasm and sign-language explanations are

(Smacks the side of his head, screams like a retarded person having a fit)
I DON'T SEE IT! AAAH! WHERE? AAAH!

(regains composure)
As I said, "I know a lot of women here seem to have gone back on their initial statements".

Anyway, I'm off to have an E.B.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:42 PM on January 20, 2005


Oh-ho! Who said anything about naming bodily functions? Eh? I'll have you know that it's your anus that you can refer to as "EB", or "Ethereal Bligh", or, presumably, "matthowie" without fear of censure or ill-humor. Get with the program.

And make sure to wipe that EB clean. I hear that moist towlettes are all the rage these days.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:52 PM on January 20, 2005


For the record, I would be honored should anyone decided to call his penis a dame.

But you said dametamer, not dame.

Your original comment that you quote again made no sense to me even when you first posted it. And your most recent response to me and others doesn't address what we're saying. I agree that dame went overboard and poisoned the tone of the discussion a bit—obviously you two have a history that I neither know nor care about. But I'll ask you to reread my last comment and actually respond to my points, because I think they are salient.

Specklet, I hate to break it to you, but I've heard/read that story several times in different places. It's more of an urban legend than an anecdote.
posted by rushmc at 4:54 PM on January 20, 2005


You inferred that, I didn't imply it.

I inferred your implication--quite easily, in fact. If you're suggesting that what you wrote didn't indirectly suggest that there was a parallel between dametamer and mathowie, your grasp of the language is far more perilous than you've historically suggested. It was a terrible analogy because the "equal" offense you attempted to create was actually created by something else entirely.
posted by The God Complex at 4:54 PM on January 20, 2005


Hmm...I keep reading dametamer as dameeater. Am I dyslexic or is there some subliminal inference going on in my head?
posted by ramix at 5:05 PM on January 20, 2005


rushmc: I could be wrong, but I got the impression Specklet was spinning a favorite yarn. To lighten the mood. I thought it was pretty funny (and oddly on topic, for an old chestnut).
posted by Man O' Straw at 5:09 PM on January 20, 2005


dametamer

LOL. If that isn't the verbal equivalent of a jacked up mudder truck, I dunno what is.

I daresay the possessor of the dametamer has his head up his EB today.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on January 20, 2005


Hmm, Man O' Straw...I didn't see a cue for that in "my mother had a friend," but I may have read it too literally (and I wasn't trying to slam Specklet in any way by pointing it out; I just think it's interesting when we, ourselves, get caught by an urban legend).
posted by rushmc at 5:15 PM on January 20, 2005


I wasn't terribly happy with the use of "cunt" in the original post myself, but I filed it under "my job to get over it, not poster's job to rephrase". Mildly offensive (to me) but not offensive enough to call out.
posted by Karmakaze at 5:31 PM on January 20, 2005


Uh, I think we're done on useful discussion relating to threads about womanly things being invaded by men posting off-topic comments.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:54 PM on January 20, 2005


but I filed it under "my job to get over it, not poster's job to rephrase".

Karma it's people like you that keep that tiny matchstick of hope I hold out for the human race flickering for just a few more seconds. In all seriousness: thank you. Metafilter could use more of your sort and less of the easily offended.
posted by Ryvar at 5:54 PM on January 20, 2005


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