Friday, June 08, 2007

aw, look, it's Baby's First Dust-Up.

as i noted yesterday, i was a little overwhelmed (not entirely in a bad way, but overwhelmed nonetheless) at the attention that a little blog post that i wrote on a wednesday night after work had garnered. i know how lots of us itty-bitty bloggers crack jokes about "my three readers" and such, but some days, i'm not really too far off of that mark! so this has been a serious surprise.

firstly, i just have to say that it's really amazing to see how this thing has actually traveled - i'm seeing people come in from other blogs, from livejounals, from myspace blogs, from message boards - and how people are responding to it. it's been an unexpected but really appreciated opportunity to see how it resonated with so many women - how i was not alone in this.

and of course, the comment thread went a little nuts. i know you didn't miss that. the tenor of things as they devolved was not unfamiliar to me - you can find exchanges and arguments like it on any big-level blog at any given hour of the day - but it was different for my own space. (remember, with the three readers here.) so yesterday, i'm sitting here thinking about how i respond. do i talk about what my commenting policy is? do i discuss what i intend with the blog, where debate fits in? do i try to lay down, like, rules or something?

and then i thought, you know, fuck that.

most of the people reading this blog either know me in person or have been reading my writing here pretty regularly - they know what i'm about. they know that i'm open to debate and discussion, and that i like (and often even explicitly ask for) engaging with people on questions and issues. i'm a generally civil person, but i'm up for some give and take. this is all, i think, pretty clear from the historical record of my archives.

but yeah, it's my blog, and i'm not going to start twisting myself into an FAQ-and-comment-policy pretzel. number one, that would be a little ridiculous, since in a week i'll be back to my merry band of commenters not usually outnumbering half a dozen. number two, it's never good enough. as at so many other moments, i presently take a page from twisty on her new and beautifully anarchic system of comment moderation:

...when [commenters] get huffy or become tedious, I may or may not delete their comments. I may or may not delete whole conversations. I may or may not delete comments just because they don’t have paragraph breaks. I may or may not delete comments wherein privilege is spelled priveledge. I might not delete any offensive comments at all. Hell, I might make an offensive comment...I may resent implications. I might bandy words. I may be inconsistent. I might miss the point. I may be in a bad mood, the way certain blamers always seem to be. I might use the word “motherfucker” even though it may be considered insulting to mothers and fuckers. I may never read the comments again. Who can tell what the heck I’ll do? Life is uncertain!

so yeah. i welcome comments. i really like comments. i welcome debate. i really like debate. but i'm gonna run things how i run things, however the hell that ends up being.

ok. lastly, in light of the way the comment thread did transpire, there are a few links that i would like to share and encourage you to peruse. hell, not just peruse, read thoroughly and studiously, as if you might be quizzed on them someday. these are people who have written about the phenomenon of feminist blogging, the commentariat, and those times when the two go together about as well as ammonia and bleach. (hint: this usually has to do with the manly men and the Nice Guys getting involved. i'm just sayin'.) the common thread of all these insightful posts is this: hey men, it is not about you.

somehow, just this one little sentiment can set off much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but that's another story.

without further ado, some enlightening thoughts on feminist blogular discourse:

FAQ: Men Hate You: twisty, as always, cuts quickly and perfectly through the fallacy of the singular "but i don't hate women!!" male response to patriarchy blaming.

Occasionally, Conversations with my Man Are Instructive: ilyka damen documents a fantastic conversation in which she explains why, though it can be painful to admit, men have to get over themselves - at least while attempting to participate in feminist discussions.

How not to be an asshole: a guide for men: the brilliant chris clark at pandagon lays it out in one incredibly simple and easy to follow step. that's right, step, singular.


Jeanne said...

Hi Kate. I found the aforementioned post via feministing and was very impressed. Count me among your regular readers! (Does that make four now?)

My favorite thing about your blog is your tagline, especially the "damn that F. Scott Fitzgerald" part. He pretty much cornered the market on the great American novel, eh?

Anyway, good stuff. I will enjoy your blog.

kate.d. said...

yeah, between him and mark twain, none of us stand a chance!

caliban59 said...

I must say that you put up with a lot more stuff in the comments to that post than I would have thought possible... way more than I would have, that is for sure. My initial response after reading the article and the posts therein was to remember what my best friend in college said to me one day when we were talking about women/men and relationships: a man can never be a feminist.

At first I was put off and thought that is very limiting; as we talked more, I began to see her point. Men can sympathize with, care about, support, help, relate to; even emulate feminists- they just can't be feminists. Being male simply cuts you off.

Anyway, I have added you to my list of sites to check in on...

kate.d. said...

caliban: i think the main reasons i let it go on for that long were 1) i was at work, so only periodically checking in and then trying to process what the hell was going on there, and two, my inclination is usually to err on the side of letting people have their say. that's why the allegations of me shutting down debate and whatnot from mark were amusing to me. but then it reached a point where i was like, this is both no longer productive and incredibly annoying, so that's it.

re: the men and feminism thing, i'm not sure i agree - it's a weird, tricky semantic thing that a lot of people have had many arguments over :) at this point, i don't necessarily begrudge anyone that stance, but not sure if i can buy into it completely myself.

educand said...

EIGHTY comments? Wow, you do know how to rub raw the sores of discontent, don't you?

caliban59 said...

I took my friend's remark to be along the lines of (not to be crude..): having a penis and having a vagina in and of themselves makes for an understanding in the fullest sense that one can have about the plight of women and men. My initial response was the same as yours: semantics. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that, as a male, I could never fully comprehend a female's view of the world. I aligned it with the idea that men can be motherly- but never a mother. Carrying and giving birth to another human being is just something I can never fully understand no matter how hard I tried. Jus' ain't gonna happen....

I agree, debate is usually good but some people cannot let it go...

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