Feminist and feminist-friendly only thread: Civility, "Alas" and feminism

A few people in the “various open pages” thread have suggested that they’d like a separate thread to discuss the question of civility on “Alas,” and perhaps other topics as well.

It’s tempting to attempt to sum up the discussion so far, but it would be too easy for me to mess up trying to sum up other folks’ views. If other folks would like to attempt a summary, or to quote extensively from the other thread, feel free.

Two notes about this thread: First of all, whatever “civility rules” normally apply on “Alas” are not in effect for this thread, since some of the people who have requested this discussion space may find the civility rules constraining.

Second of all, I think this is a conversation that has to take place between feminists and feminist allies. Feminists, pro-feminists and feminist-friendly posters of any sex are welcome to post; but if that doesn’t describe you, then please don’t post on this particular thread.

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125 Responses to Feminist and feminist-friendly only thread: Civility, "Alas" and feminism

  1. 101
    Q Grrl says:

    “Yes, Robert was an asshole on that thread & using faux-civility to bait people. However, I was not using faux civility, nor do I feel that FoolishOwl was. If I ask a question, it is not because I’m too lazy to do work on my own or that I’m trying to bait you. It’s because I don’t know the answer – even after thinking about it.”

    “Amp fucked up wrt the Alsis/Robert altercation. ”

    No. You all, all you men, fucked up. You know how? Because what Robert did not once or twice, and which women pointed out each and every time he did it, you ignored. Instead, you chose to take our complaints about Robert’s behavior, and Amp’s response, and make it *all* about you. Fuck that. It’s not about you, nor about how good a guy you are. All of you failed to take Robert to task, and instead of lining up with the women, you further detracted from the situation (i.e failed to support the women) and made this out to be how you feel so beseiged. You say you’re not too lazy to do the work on your own, but you sure as fucking hell will piggyback on women’s efforts just so that you can maintain good guy status… fuckity fuck fuck fuck.

    You aren’t a good guy. You’re just a guy. Among many. Who can’t seem to wrap your mind around the fact that you demand to be educated about a system that you, your own fucking self, perpetuate. Fuck.

  2. 102
    Paige says:

    “With Robert, maybe give him 3 comments before you decide that he’s an asshole who has no interest in hearing what you have to say.”

    The sense of entitlement to women’s time, space, consideration, thought, and attention here — and in everything else you’ve posted — is absolutely stunning. I don’t owe you anything. Nor does *any* woman. Which point funnie made ages ago by telling you *she’s not your mama* and *your mama isn’t responsible to hold your hand either.*

    Consider this part of your feminist consciousness raising: getting your ass kicked because you’re being publicly asinine toward women — even if “unintentionally”.

    You’re not entitled to the presumption that your lack of concern, or lack of knowledge, of lack of understanding, or failure to treat women equally, or any other stupid thing you’ve done toward woman or a woman is unintentional. You’re not entitled to even *that* much of my time.

  3. 103
    Omar K. Ravenhurst says:

    Of course Robert was baiting you. So don’t fucking take the bait!

  4. 104
    Ampersand says:

    Okay, folks, make your last comments. A half-hour from now (or maybe sooner), I’m closing these threads.

    The conversation will, I hope, continue. Folks like Q Grrl and Chys will, I hope, choose to stick around and keep posting. That’s obviously up to them, not to me.

    But the folks here who are not regular “Alas” posters will not be welcome here after a half-hour from now.

  5. 105
    Paige says:

    Guess it all got just too “uncivil”.

  6. 106
    littleviolet says:

    You know that stinks. I came here to make a point and I wasn’t planning on hanging around to argue, but you banning feminists whilst putting up with sexists like Robert (because it helps you hone your arguments) really doesn’t say much about your commitment to feminism.

    Why doesn’t debating feminist issues with feminists who disagree with you help you hone your arguments?

  7. 107
    littleviolet says:

    And if you are going to use your feminism to give yourself a public profile you can expect feminists who you may not know personally to have an opinion about what you do.

  8. 108
    Ampersand says:

    You know that stinks. I came here to make a point and I wasn’t planning on hanging around to argue, but you banning feminists whilst putting up with sexists like Robert (because it helps you hone your arguments) really doesn’t say much about your commitment to feminism.

    Why doesn’t debating feminist issues with feminists who disagree with you help you hone your arguments?

    Actually, if you want to stick around, that’s fine too. It’s up to you.

    What I object to is arguments that really amount to little more than abuse, or that are couched in so much abuse as to obscure any other intent they might have.

    I also object to gangpiling, which is in my view what we’ve been seeing from the radical feminists here.

    Finally, I don’t think I have a public profile, let alone that I’ve “used feminism” to gain one.

  9. 109
    Omar K. Ravenhurst says:

    I treid to explain why I disagree with the criticisms, and I indicated the line of argument that might convince me (though I don’t know about Amp, and of course I find my own arguments persuasive): explain how your proposal would have done more good in that monster thread than either strict enforcement of the rules you see before posting, or strict enforcement of the double standard Amp recently stated where he banned men but not women.

  10. 110
    Radfem says:

    So I guess if we’re not Q Grrrl or CrysT, both awesome women….we’re banned? Well, I feel that any discussion of women has been left in capable hands.

    I’ve only been banned once in my life. From a conservative board for mentioning I was you know, the F-word….

    Paige, exactly….what do they call the moment when something hits home for feminists?

    *Click*

    ;-)

  11. I also object to gangpiling, which is in my view what we’ve been seeing from the radical feminists here.

    Amp, honestly, what were you seeing in the Catharine MacKinnon thread before the radical feminists showed up? How was that not gangpiling of a much deeper, more odious, destructive kind? That’s been my point, really, all along. It’s okay for a whole bunch of people, including feminists, to call Linda Boreman a lying slut whore (in so many words) and Catharine MacKinnon an extremist and a hypocrite and you name it, post after post after post, but somehow what has happened in this thread is “gangpiling”?

    Who would most people support in this scenario? The radical feminists? I don’t think so? So how is what we are doing gangpiling?

    Heart

  12. Also, if I am to be banned — your prerogative, of course — I would like you to remove my posts in the Catharine MacKinnon thread, because I won’t be around for the ongoing discussion. I don’t want to inadvertantly participate in a thread antagonistic to MacKinnon because I wasn’t able to clarify points I’d made or to otherwise respond.

    Thanks.

    Heart

  13. 113
    Ampersand says:

    Amp, honestly, what were you seeing in the Catharine MacKinnon thread before the radical feminists showed up? How was that not gangpiling of a much deeper, more odious, destructive kind? That’s been my point, really, all along. It’s okay for a whole bunch of people, including feminists, to call Linda Boreman a lying slut whore (in so many words) and Catharine MacKinnon an extremist and a hypocrite and you name it, post after post after post, but somehow what has happened in this thread is “gangpiling”?

    First of all, Catharine MacKinnon and Linda Boreman weren’t direct particpants in the conversation. What’s wrong with gangpiling is that it’s abusive bullying; you can’t bully someone who isn’t present.

    Second of all, I barely paid any attention to that thread, because so much of my attention was occupied by this thread and its predicessor. But even so, I banned a poster on that thread and deleted a couple of his posts long before you started posting on that thread, because he was slamming MacKinnon in overwhelmingly misogynisitc terms. Had I not had the other threads keeping me occupied, I would have posted on the MacKinnon thread more. Probably, so would have other people.

    Did you read my post about the straw? (It’s #97 on this thread). If you hadn’t come along and refuted what they were saying, probably someone else would have. That doesn’t make what you do any less important and praiseworthy, but it’s probably not safe to assume that if you and other radfem “visitors” (as opposed to regular posters) hadn’t posted, no one else would have.

  14. 114
    Ampersand says:

    Also, if I am to be banned ““ your prerogative, of course ““ I would like you to remove my posts in the Catharine MacKinnon thread, because I won’t be around for the ongoing discussion. I don’t want to inadvertantly participate in a thread antagonistic to MacKinnon because I wasn’t able to clarify points I’d made or to otherwise respond.

    Heart, I’m not banning you. Feel free to post on the MacKinnon thread or any other thread.

  15. If you hadn’t come along and refuted what they were saying, probably someone else would have.

    I don’t really think that they would have. That’s why I did.

    I see Catharine MacKinnon tarred and feathered all over the internet, including by feminists, and nobody comes along and refutes what is said. It happens all the time.

    And while Linda Boreman and Catharine MacKinnon aren’t here, when they are trashed in post after post, it feels to me like I am being gangpiled, because I stand for what MacKinnon stands for, and I have suffered the same kind of brutalities that Linda Boreman suffered.

    Like I say, I feel what is said about these women viscerally. It’s not academic. It’s not philosophical. It’s my beliefs and my reality those anti-MacKinnon, anti-Boreman men and women are trashing.

    Which again, was the point I was trying to make all along.

    Sigh.

    Heart

  16. 116
    FoolishOwl says:

    Please. I couldn’t be less interested in even PRETENDING to dialog with you, you fucking piece of shit remora.

    Ampersand doesn’t deserve this sort of abuse. Nor did anyone who posted in this thread. If you don’t want to dialog, no one’s forcing you to post messages.

  17. FoolishOwl, I am not speaking for funnie, I am just speaking generally? But you know, sometimes when people feel the way I said I feel in my most recent post, they do break off with a few choice invectives. Because they aren’t being heard. Because they see their reality, life, beliefs being erased, dismissed, trivialized. Should that be more tolerable somehow than the outburst? Which comes first, the erasure or the outburst? And which is more acceptable.

    Although if feminists are banned, then the erasure comes both first and last.

    Heart

  18. 118
    Crys T says:

    “I get the feeling from your last comment that you don’t differentiate between the men commenting here. I get the feeling that there is no difference to you between Robert & myself, between FoolishOwl & Novalis, etc.”

    You know, putting on the wounded tone does not help matters. You feel I’m lumping you in with a group and not respecting your individuality. Well, guess what, I have to deal with that every fucking day for…yep, you guessed it….having a vagina. Don’t expect me to feel guilty or shed a tear because I made you feel bad…..especially when what I strongly suspect what is *really* making you feel bad is my (really, our) refusal to submissively accept that when you all say you are acting in good faith, you truly ARE acting in good faith.

    You need to look at how your privilege is colouring your responses to this entire issue. If you aren’t willing to do that, there is no chance for any sort of dialogue on these questions.

    Guys, seriously, how do you expect us to accept that you truly ARE pro-feminist men when the second you are challenged about your behaviour & how sexism and male privilege relate to it, you dig your heels in and start making the same old lame, stereotypically sexist remarks about how we women who are angry are out of line, rude, and (help me, please) not giving people the benefit of the doubt.

    I’ve been watching Robert post here for MONTHS, and I’m sure many women here have been watching him for years, if he’s been here for that long. I’ve seen over and over and over again what his tactics are and how he’s rarely, if ever, taken to task by other men here for them. Don’t you dare tell me that I’m being unreasonable (yet another stereotypical sexist assertion–you know those women, can’t seem to learn to think with their heads) or unfair to him.

    You know, if you really want us to accept that you are in fact pro-feminist men, maybe you should stop acting like 1970s-era cartoon “Male Chauvinist Pigs”–I mean, really, just read the stuff you guys have been writing: most of it is stuff we learn to see through in Feminism 101.

  19. 119
    littleviolet says:

    “Actually, if you want to stick around, that’s fine too. It’s up to you.”

    Like I said I wasn’t planning of hanging around after I’d made my points but I really hope that you will give some careful consideration to the criticisms made about your blog and some of your actions. They are genuine feminist criticisms even if you are feeling like it’s a personal attack on you.

    Even if I did want to stay though it would be right for me to do so as you have decided to ban feminists whilst allowing sexists to remain in the space.

  20. 120
    littleviolet says:

    *wouldn’t* be right

  21. 121
    Q Grrl says:

    Wow Amp, just wow.

    I understand you not liking all of the behavior here, but threatening to ban the women and *only* the women?

    Have you not heard a single word I’ve said? Have you not taken a step back to see the overarching dynamic that is being played out.

    FoolishOwl — do you see it now? How even in space that is purportedly giving a platform to women, if the women take the criticism and anger to the level that they feel it inside — well then they are banned from further communication.

    And some of you want to call this discourse? dialogue?

    The anger from the women posting here is real folks. And unfortunately so is the egocentric beliefs by the men that the anger is just about them. How can you be profeminist/feminist if you don’t understand the simple notion of class dynamics? or gendered power?

    So if a woman touches the root of her anger… ? what then? it is inappropriate? offensive? damanging?

    I hope to hell it is. I hope it is strong and stifles men’s thoughts and opinions. I hope it makes men feel small — the way suppressed anger makes a woman feel small and futile and insane. I hope it pisses the fuck out of people like Omar, or FoolishOwl, or Jake or anyone else out there compelled to provide his own egocentric version of : but I’m a gooooood guy!

    I hope our anger puts a bad face on “Alas”. I hope Amp questions everything he thought he knew up until today.

    I hope this because Amp you have put me in the very difficult position of having to choose between access to a public political forum that I like participating in and my personal and political alliances to women. Fuck you for doing that.

    But that’s what men do. Keep the token good feminists, the smart, civil, feminists (although I’m not all those things) and pit them and their political/personal interests against other women. Other women Amp. So that what? the men can continue on in space here feeling comfortable?

    Fuck — how can you not see this? Fuck, how can you think it is civil or appropriate to put me, call me out on it actually, in this position where I have to choose?

    and you wonder why we are so deeply angry and critical.

    guess what?

    I blame *you* for that.

  22. 122
    radfem says:

    What CrysT said, What Q Grrl said, what Hearrt said…and it’s erasure, Hearrt but I think you know that.

  23. 123
    Ampersand says:

    The only posters who have actually been banned are Funnie and Paige. Everyone else is welcome to stay (and I think I’ve said so to everyone individually).

    As for Funnie and Paige, any male poster, and any non-feminist poster, who acted as they did would have been banned 300 posts ago. It is only because they are feminist women criticizing me that I let them stay on this long. But enough is enough. That they’re women doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be treated like adults; and being a male feminist doesn’t require me to allow people to treat me like a punching bag.

    As far as blaming me for this, that’s fair enough. I see no reason why I shouldn’t be blamed for my freely-chosen actions. And I’m sorry to have put you in a bad position.

    I’ll be sorry if you decide not to post on “Alas” anymore, but I understand if that’s the decision you make.

    This thread is now closed.

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