The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

It may not have escaped your notice…

Posted by That Other Mike on 12/07/2008

… that I have not blogged about I Am Legend. And you’d be entirely right to think so. Basically, I’ve not been in a mood to do fiction stuff this week. I know, deplorable lapse. I’ve kind of been busy, both with the move to our spanky new offices at work, and with other stuff.

In the meantime, ladies and gentlemen, Mr Conway Twitty:

Actually, while this is sometimes used as a joke on Family Guy to distract from when a plot point has become a little sticky, Conway Twitty actually had a long and well-respected career as a rock ‘n’ roll musician (in the late 50s and early 60s) and then country musician.

I think the above video really speaks more to his rock roots, but he was definitely a big player in the country scene – he made many appearances on Hee Haw, for example, sold a butt load of albums as a country musician and he dueted with Loretta Lynn. It doesn’t get much more country than that. I’ll probably obtain *coughillegaldownloadcough* an album or two this weekend.

In other non-news, I have also spent a disproportionate amount of time this week becoming addicted to the Order of The Stick, the link to which can now be found in my blogroll, under Toons. Anyone who’s ever played a tabletop RPG will recognise a lot of what’s in it, especially D&Ders, and it made me laugh like a big fool. Go and read it immediately, or fear my +1 mace!

Idiosyncratica. We will be announcing the new topic on the 15th July, for publication on the 1st August, with my choice of topic. No doubt Gary has already written his, using his prophetic magic. Wait, too much time spent reading OoTS. Anyway, that’s the date for the next exercise. All announcements will be done over there, although this week we’ve discussed who’ll be next and inaugurating new members. Anyone wishing to join the hippest, coolest, bestest and most interesting new group for readers and writers on the whole damn interwebs should come on over and join.

This week has also seen some shitflinging in the femisphere: Feministe has been allowing bullying in its comment threads when certain people (OK, me and Lottie) have said some things which were reasonable but unpopular. Many of the commenters over there seem to be suffering a raging case of the passive-aggressives, and apparently the administrators are far too in love with their blog popularity to do anything about it.

That may be a harsh assessment, but I think it’s a fair one. Passive-aggressive behaviour annoys me, mainly because it’s the kind of tactic my parents used on me for years as a vehicle for their emotional and mental abuse. It’s dishonest – if you have a problem, name it. Don’t hint around it.

Another shit storm has also been brewing over Kyle Payne, a self-described radical feminist blogger whose own self-penned biography describes him in glowing terms as an activist against pornography and advocate for women’s issues. You’d think, reading the page, that he was Jesus crossed with Andrea Dworkin.

He’s just been sentenced in the matter of sexually assaulting an unconscious female student, and apparently the State police are investigating him in regards to some child pornography found on his laptop. This has been shaping into a shitstorm of epic proportions; while the story has been around for some time (I first copped to it on Eleanor’s Trousers earlier in the year), it’s only become big following his sentencing, when a bunch of the bigger names in the feminist blog community have started to blog heavily about it, although notably the BIG names, such as Feministing, Pandagon and Alas have rather disgracefully failed to mention it at the time of writing. That being said, that it took the medium-sized bloggers a fair amount of time to notice, too; not exactly on the ball, either.

There’s been some juvenile shitslinging towards male feminists, particularly Hugo Schwyzer, and frankly, it’s bullshit (even as much as I dislike him). The effect that this has on us is relevant too; nobody’s saying that we should ignore the fact that an innocent student was assaulted, and I’d call anyone out that even suggested it.

That said, we’re more or less all in possession of more than a handful of functioning brain cells, and we can discuss things in more than one dimension. None of us are stupid, we’re all adults, and we can bring up the fact that it fucks over a demographic within the feminist community without detracting from the main issue or turning it into a pissing contest. That being said, some people have maintained an admirable and inclusive stance, and they need to be saluted for that.

Yeesh. That was a long old post. I bet you wish I’d stuck to the original plan and finished it after Conway Twitty, don’t you?

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5 Responses to “It may not have escaped your notice…”

  1. purtek said

    Nothing wrong with stopping after some Conway Twitty. 🙂

    I replied to your comment on my post already (and appreciate you lumping me into the “admirable” category, however unfamiliar it may be), and I haven’t had too much time to delve into the depths of those Feministe threads (big-blog comment threads give me hives), but I want to add that, wrt Hugo, there’s something to be said not only about *how* the “male feminist” conversation gets had, but *where*.

    First, I tend to agree with one of the comments you’ve linked as “juvenile shitslinging” – specifically, sophonisba’s suggestion that the best thing Hugo could do for the image would be to be less concerned with the *image*. I’m not that familiar with that commenter, but I actually think she’s trying to be helpful, because it’s kind of *true* that anybody who’s hyperconcerned with appearing to be anything is likely going to come off more than a little awkward (at best) and all that effort is really just going to be so *distracting* as to make it seem like dude is just trying to get lots of attention for being X. This is not unique to male feminists, and is pretty much learned by anyone who ever spent any time as a teenager cultivating and fastidiously projecting an attitude of apathy toward societal approval for which they desperately want your approval.

    But then, also, there’s the question of *where* these male feminist conversations should take place. I said before that I think you’re right, there’s something that you guys as a group need to sort of support each other on in this issue. But is a Feministe thread on the main issue itself really where that needs to happen? I think it’s worth asking *why* so many conversations involving Hugo Schwyzer somehow end up being *about* Hugo Schwyzer, and how much that same pattern happens with other male feminists individually or in general. Yeah, I know a lot of people mock with the “what about the menz” shit, but as an ally, it seriously is worth self-examining to see if/when/how one’s own habits/words are serving to keep the conversation about the *alliance* – how it should be done, how the ally feels, how X affects allies/the alliance – and not about the *issue*.

    Sigh. I would use lack of sleep as an excuse for my long windedness, but actually, it’s pretty much just…me.

  2. Mike said

    Nothing wrong with stopping after some Conway Twitty.

    We have an old almshouse here called Twitty’s. I always think of country and western music whenever I pass it…

    I replied to your comment on my post already

    And I dumped more text back… Heh.

    (and appreciate you lumping me into the “admirable” category, however unfamiliar it may be),

    Well, I meant it. You’ve been inclusive, thoughtful and balanced, and haven’t been using it as an opportunity to take shots. In that category, I might add GallingGalla (who seems to have other issues around rad’feminism) and Allecto and the like… But no shocker there.

    and I haven’t had too much time to delve into the depths of those Feministe threads (big-blog comment threads give me hives),

    Seriously, I don’t know that I’d bother if I had my time again. I think my comments regarding toeing the party line are valid.

    but I want to add that, wrt Hugo, there’s something to be said not only about *how* the “male feminist” conversation gets had, but *where*.

    I suppose, yes, up to a point, as I said in comments at your place.

    First, I tend to agree with one of the comments you’ve linked as “juvenile shitslinging” – specifically, sophonisba’s suggestion that the best thing Hugo could do for the image would be to be less concerned with the *image*.

    Yeah. That was somewhat uncalled for, IMO.

    I’m not that familiar with that commenter, but I actually think she’s trying to be helpful,

    Meh. I’m not so sure, but I’m not in the business of judging her character.

    because it’s kind of *true* that anybody who’s hyperconcerned with appearing to be anything is likely going to come off more than a little awkward (at best) and all that effort is really just going to be so *distracting* as to make it seem like dude is just trying to get lots of attention for being X.

    Sure, absolutely. You know what they say about converts to a cause… And former smokers. 😀

    But then, also, there’s the question of *where* these male feminist conversations should take place. I said before that I think you’re right, there’s something that you guys as a group need to sort of support each other on in this issue. But is a Feministe thread on the main issue itself really where that needs to happen?

    Well, on further thought, that’s kind of a catch22 situation. If we, as a marginalised group, try to discuss this issue which is directly relevant to us as feminists in terms of how it is relevant to us, we would immediately be seen (deliberately in many cases) as trying to shut out women and create a “dude space” (I absolutely hate seeing men referred to generally and disparagingly with “dude”; it seems the equivalent of “bitch” in tone and intent) and accused of ignoring the issue of sexual assault; on the other hand, if we try to discuss it in mainstream arenas, it becomes (whether it is or not) an attempt at derailment. Can’t win for losing, really.

    My feminism involves respecting women as human beings; it doesn’t mean being pushed around by them. I know it’s nothing alike really, but I can almost see where BFP was coming from…

    I think it’s worth asking *why* so many conversations involving Hugo Schwyzer somehow end up being *about* Hugo Schwyzer, and how much that same pattern happens with other male feminists individually or in general.

    *sigh* Yeah, I know. He does tend to be a bit Schwyzer 101 in conversation with people. I’d put forward Barry Deutsch as a better example, but his credibility got so damaged a while back (unjustly, IMO; who gets after Heart for being a beggar etc?) with the whole pr0n site thing.

    Yeah, I know a lot of people mock with the “what about the menz” shit,

    That gets dragged out so much, even when it’s legitimate to bring in the issue of a men’s issue, that I considered a while back of troll-posting “But what about teh wimminzz?!” for a while. Luckily, my self control kicked in and I realised how stupid and irritating that would be.

    but as an ally, it seriously is worth self-examining to see if/when/how one’s own habits/words are serving to keep the conversation about the *alliance* – how it should be done, how the ally feels, how X affects allies/the alliance – and not about the *issue*.

    Oh, definitely, although I will say this – I’m reminded of a Feministe thread about BDSM in which people kept saying, “You should examine your BDSM desires, think them over, etc”, and all the while I was thinking, “What makes you think I haven’t?” I guess the same thing applies, really; any man at all serious about being a feminist has probably done a lot of self-examination already. I mean, you kind of have to, really, in the light of what a lot of female feminists say about men.

    Sigh. I would use lack of sleep as an excuse for my long windedness, but actually, it’s pretty much just…me.

    I know the feeling. Still, it’s better than being completely dried up, word-wise.

  3. Lottie said

    there’s something to be said not only about *how* the “male feminist” conversation gets had, but *where*.

    This is a bit of a sore spot for me at the moment, so it could be that I’m being ultrasensitive, but this comes across as the same kind of feminist language control which I just wrote about on my blog.

    I’m not that familiar with that commenter, but I actually think she’s trying to be helpful

    I don’t think so. Her comment sounds to me like more of the usual we don’t give a shit what you have to say you filthy man/potential predator so shutthefuckup. It also serves as another example of the language policing I just mentioned – Say it like this, and not like that, because the way you’re saying it offends the feminists. Sorry… they don’t own the language.

    I think it’s worth asking *why* so many conversations involving Hugo Schwyzer somehow end up being *about* Hugo Schwyzer, and how much that same pattern happens with other male feminists individually or in general.

    I wonder how much of that has to do with men being in constant defense mode, as a direct result of all the feminist male bashing that goes on. I think it’s also worth asking ourselves how often it’s the women themselves who make the discussion about the man rather than the issues he raises.

    And as far as The Curvature being among the more reasonable that you mentioned, Mike – the author is also an administrator at Feministe. Why hasn’t she stepped in with all her reason there? Because it wouldn’t be the popular thing to do? I don’t know… I’m not accusing her of anything, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

    As you know, I’m quite disillusioned at the moment. It seems like too many women these days hide behind the name of feminism and use it as an excuse to act like assholes, and vent their personal frustration on anyone who doesn’t immediately hop on every fucking feminist bandwagon that comes along. Fuck that.

    Oh, and I agree – “chicks” need to stop calling men “dudes”.

    Oops! Have I internalized misogyny again? ::shoots middle finger::

  4. Mike said

    I don’t think so. Her comment sounds to me like more of the usual we don’t give a shit what you have to say you filthy man/potential predator so shutthefuckup. It also serves as another example of the language policing I just mentioned – Say it like this, and not like that, because the way you’re saying it offends the feminists. Sorry… they don’t own the language.

    Well, as we’ve said before, framing a discussion in a way that is favourable to you and you alone is one method used to silence dissent. Like I’ve said to you before, the classic example is how Republicans have framed the debate over inheritance/estate taxes – they called it the death tax. It’s a means of winning a debate by quashing all resistance – in effect, winning a debate without having to actually debate…

    I wonder how much of that has to do with men being in constant defense mode, as a direct result of all the feminist male bashing that goes on. I think it’s also worth asking ourselves how often it’s the women themselves who make the discussion about the man rather than the issues he raises.

    That’s definitely a valid point. How much of it is dependent upon it not being about the man to start with but with it being made to be about him?

    And as far as The Curvature being among the more reasonable that you mentioned, Mike – the author is also an administrator at Feministe. Why hasn’t she stepped in with all her reason there? Because it wouldn’t be the popular thing to do? I don’t know… I’m not accusing her of anything, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

    You’re absolutely right; the lack of input is troubling.

    As you know, I’m quite disillusioned at the moment. It seems like too many women these days hide behind the name of feminism and use it as an excuse to act like assholes, and vent their personal frustration on anyone who doesn’t immediately hop on every fucking feminist bandwagon that comes along. Fuck that.

    AKA BFP syndrome. She left feminist blogging because she was being ignored and marginalised by mainstream feminists; it sort of makes you wonder, will this happen with some of the higher status male feminists? I don’t want to act like it’s all about men, because it isn’t. But damn it, feminism has to appeal to men too, or it will fail.

  5. Lottie said

    AKA BFP syndrome. She left feminist blogging because she was being ignored and marginalised by mainstream feminists […]

    And don’t forget plagiarized! If memory serves, that was the final blow.

    But damn it, feminism has to appeal to men too, or it will fail.

    Don’t let them hear you say that. They’ll want your balls on a platter. And I’m not willing to let that happen. 😉

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