«

»

Mar 27 2007

Wikipedia: the first refuge of the lazy

If your nom de blog is Twisty Faster, and you are ever directed to Wikipedia to inspect an article titled “Twisty faster” [sic], a “self described Queer Gentleman Spinster Aunt” [sic], it is probable that you will, after initially feeling a bit flattered but ultimately blanking the page on grounds of painful factual inaccuracy (yup, I coined the term “godbag”– right after I invented the internet), get a wild hair up your monkeynut and type the word “femininity” into the search box.

The result is a laff a minute. Wikipedia’s nonsensical article, which was apparently edited chiefly by a hetero male godbag high schooler sent over from Christ-o-pedia, may be summarized as There is great debate over which qualities ought to be attributable to the female sex, which unfortunately makes it difficult to codify absolutely the denigration of women.

The “Femininity in the media” section, with its yearning nostalgia for Gibson girls and flappers, is a paean to 20th century feminine beauty. Then some brave Wikipedian mentions the radical feminist’s celebrated peevishness toward airbrushed photos in fashion magazines, hard upon which the aforementioned illiterate godbag schoolboy is compelled to append this:

There are also many that disagree with this viewpoint, due to the fact in an age when women hold significant sway in the fashion community, aesthetic virtue and competing for attention are still positivly [sic] connotated. They further argue that since women are the ones that are instinctually craving these beauty products, women are therefore the ones driving this yearn towards physical perfection, and not a patriarchal oppression conspiracy.”

Which remarks beautifully illustrate the unsophisticated, imperfect grasp of the subject one so often finds among godbag dudes. It gratifies them to believe that women, who universally clamor for their own oppression because it is “instinctual,” are the sole architects of femininity.

Oh, and check out this howler: “In circumstances such as prison where men are segregated from women, a fraction of the population will nevertheless divide according to persistent female principles.”

Female principles! Dear god.

I mention all this to remind the young onion that Wikipedia, the 10th most visited website in the known universe (quoth Alexa), may occasionally seem handy, but it is also infested by the fanciful and clumsily executed musings of knobs whose competence is compromised by their saturation in the dominant culture. Remember Essjay, that influential Wikipedia editor who claimed, in order to dominate other Wikipedians, to be a tenured professor of religion at a private college, but who turned out to be — what else — a godbag schoolboy?

77 comments

  1. BubbasNightmare

    It’s Blameopedia time!

    Twisty, did you invent “embiggening”? I don’t recall seeing it prior to reading your musings.

  2. ChapstickAddict

    Back in my college days (by which I mean less than a year ago), the professors still had to mention to students not to use Wikipedia as a primary reference for scientific research.

  3. Miller

    Blasted Wikipedia! I tried multiple times to edit that damn “encyclopedia” but all my attempts got immediately dismissed. Mind you, these are gentle reminders of such crazy notions as evidence, fact, objectivity. Some women have noticed this trend and have started their own wiki that, I believe, is chick-(something), perhaps chick merged with wiki (my memory is horrible). They, too, have noticed that anyone who dares to make a correction is routinely disallowed. (It almost never fails. Try it.) Once, I tried to edit “Jeffrey Sebelia,” the hyper-sensitive bigot on Project Runway 3 by merely pointing out that infamous episode where he unleashed a misogynistic rant, one of many on the show (part of his “persona”). I literally wrote “misogynistic rant” and it was removed within 30 minutes. Now, that rant actually happened and they didn’t try that whole “some claim” cover, (the way the use it describe Eminem’s “music:” “some claim” he is misogynistic and homophobic) they just flat-out removed any mention of it. Now that’s just one trivial example (another trivial one: they removed any mention that Salma Hayek is a feminist, which she doesn’t shy away from, just within the past few months). I got denied when I tried to show that sexism was, in fact, bigotry (perhaps too radical?). There’s many more, but I eventually got tired of beating my head against a wall and quit. The pattern is this: girls and women are not human; sexism and misogyny is natural and fun; feminism is a joke, at best, the work of the devil, at worst; and feminists are jealous, ugly, old hags that and surrounded by cats so don’t you dare become one or you’ll look gross and totally smell. Oh, and porn rocks!
    P.S. I wrote to two blogs about the “white woman syndrome” and got shafted by both. I wrote a damn good e-mail, too. I know I’m right, damn it! One wrote: “I honestly think the issue is more complicated than that. There’s also a lot of white male privilege behind the trumpeting of these cases over other, more routine, cases of violence against women, which is part of what fuels the criticism. The point is that the “white women missing” stories are based on the premise that these stories are about the great tragedy of white men losing their female property. These stories are a distraction from violence against women in the real world, violence which is usually enacted by someone the victim knows. These stories redirect energies and create the illusion that most violence against women is from strangers lurking in the dark who only want the (expensive) female property of white men.”
    Notice how she totally forgets to talk about how the majority of the cases are domestic violence-related (Think: Laci Peterson. Murder: the #1 killer of pregnant women); gay-bashing is never highlighted for dismissal with the “white” label nor is any other crime singled out in such a way; how I specifically mentioned that white MEN were the ones ridiculing these stories of male violence while using racism to hide their misogyny (they refuse to cover stories regarding women of color, nor do they attack the demonization of black and Latina women in entertainment so their racism excuse is bullshit), which makes this concern for their “property” all the more laughable, especially considering their blatantly hateful remarks (again, check out DailyKos, if you dare); and that all male violence is appalling regardless of skin color, especially since gender trumps race (white women are people, too), and if white women are targeted for mocking then what chance do other women have? Answer: none. There’s more to tear apart in her e-mail, but right now, I’m just too damn tired. I swear my e-mail was absolutely solid. Oh and I even e-mail Charlie Rose about his complete lack of women on his show (less than 10%, I kid you not). Check his website any random day and count. At least, I tried.

  4. j

    Twisty, why not edit/rewrite the Wikipedia entry about yourself? I would be interested to see the result.

  5. Gender Blank

    I’m pretty sure “sex lurch mambo” was yours, too.

  6. skyscraper

    Instinctually craving beauty products? Amazing the things you learn on the internet. Thanks for inventing it Twisty!

  7. mearl

    Yeah, women aren’t coerced into craving beauty products, it’s INSTINCTUAL. That’s why any given lesbian, who gives not the slightest fuck about being attractive to men, is accused on the regular of looking and acting like a male due to her refusal to be stuffed into the mold of “natural femininity”.

  8. Bird

    Embiggening is from The Simpsons. : “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” The quote is supposedly from the town founder, Jebediah Springfield.

    Crawling back under my nerd rock now.

  9. Emotenote

    I’m still stuck on “…driving this yearn…” It’s echoing in my head with some ur-ination connotations possibly caused by the radiant boy-dude immaturity of the writing.

    In my curious travels around the internet looking for a definition of Femininity that would give me a hint of hope that somewhere in the popular patriarchal ether there was anything but ignorance, I did come across a word, new to me, to describe women: muliebrity. This is defined as the state of being an adult woman, Interestingly (perhaps only to me) is that there is very little extra fluff attached to the word. Its basis in in the word ‘mulien’ for ‘woman’ and that’s about it.

  10. Sylvanite

    I can’t imagine anything about makeup or high heeled shoes being “instinctive.” Unless, of course, one means the instinct to have nothing to do with pore-clogging gunk and uncomfortable shoes.

    Admittedly, humans (both male and female) do seem to enjoy adorning themselves, but it is possible to indulge some interest in adornment without crippling oneself. But what do I know? Idiocy and self-mutilation do seem to go hand-in-hand with adornment. I wonder what would win for the goofiest “fashion statement”. I might vote for the ancient Egyptian practice of placing cones of perfumed oil on top of the head, to slowly melt into the hair. Yum!

    I suppose just about the most damaging would be foot-binding. I wonder why I seem to lack the instinct to break all the bones in my feet to make them tiny?

  11. Hawise

    I sometimes give in to the urge to put a particularly nice feather in my hair. No similiar urge happens as I walk down the make-up aisle on the way to something I want, I suspect that my ‘instincts’ are out of whack.
    By the way, when you drive a yearn is it automatic or stick?

  12. Frumious B

    a fraction of the population will nevertheless divide according to persistent female principles

    Is that like budding?

  13. TroutGrrrl

    If the godboy truly believes that “since women are the ones that are instinctually craving these beauty products, women are therefore the ones driving this yearn towards physical perfection, and not a patriarchal oppression conspiracy,” then why is he the expert writing the effing Wikipedia article about it?

  14. Haukur

    Your blanking didn’t hold but I’m a Wikipedia admin so I went ahead and deleted the article, you can see my reasoning in my action log. The article is still in the database and can be viewed and undeleted by me or any other admin (there are hundreds).

  15. Dessy

    “…but it is also infested by the fanciful and clumsily executed musings of knobs whose competence is compromised by their saturation in the dominant culture.”

    I felt the same way when I read the Wikipedia article on blackness.

  16. justicewalks

    I wonder what would win for the goofiest “fashion statement”. I might vote for the ancient Egyptian practice of placing cones of perfumed oil on top of the head, to slowly melt into the hair. Yum!

    Not just a fashion statement. People from that region of the world (ie, Africans) tend to have pretty dry skin and hair, so the oil likely also served to moisturize their locks and scalp. If you don’t have skin dry enough that it will seize up and crack if not supplementally moisturized, which hurts like hell and exposes you to infection, I can see how you might think this was merely an accessory.

    I’m not denying that the conical design of it would have served the cause of fashion, though, and, yes, somewhat goofily so.

  17. justicewalks

    Ugh, Dessy, the blackness page is terrible. That whole Debra Dickerson thing really bothered people for some reason. It’s like, “How dare you use “blackness” to refer to the specific context of the descendants of black Afrian slaves in America when you’re talking about American politics, when clearly it is the black diaspora that matters!”

  18. LCforevah

    Twisty, the article looks like it’s been removed–at least when I used the link in your post, I got nothing. Did the Wiki-powers-that-be do this with you or without?

  19. stekatz

    Well Wikipedia sure had me all jazzed up about the verdant parklands and meandering bike trails of Plano.

  20. Gayle

    LCforevah, look up. You’ll find the link under Haukur’s name. S/he deleted the entry.

    “Haukurth (Talk | contribs) deleted “Twisty Faster” (Unsourced and described by its subject as inaccurate”

    Hey Haukur, I’m curious. How does one become an admin anyway?

  21. PhysioProf

    “due to the fact”

    Writers who use this odious phrase must be summarily executed.

  22. Bitey

    “The notion of feminine beauty constantly changes, and ranges the spectrum between the ultra-feminine Gibson Girl of the 1910s to the tomboyish flapper of the 1920s.”

    So, the notion of feminine beauty ranges all the way from this to this?

    Actually, that’s kinda true.

  23. Haukur

    Hi, Gayle! I’m a ‘he’. You become a Wikipedia admin by putting your name up for a vote at “Requests for Adminship” and getting over 75% support from fellow Wikipedians. To stand a chance you have to have a few thousand ‘edits’, several months of experience, some friends and no influential enemies. Political ideology is not important as long you’re not perceived as editing in a ‘biased’ manner. I can explain how that works in practice if anyone is interested.

  24. Rainbow Girl

    I don’t know what your problem is. It’s a perfectly promulent word.

  25. Scratchy888

    I’m not sure why it should be necessary to codify absolutely the denigration of women. Have all the victims of the lastest western colonial escapade into Iraq been codified as if by some metaphysical formula? If so, were their situations codified as “negative” or disagreeable, or what?

  26. Pony

    Yes Haukur please explain. Begin with the word Essjay.

  27. Mel

    Wow. A Scooby snack to Bird for getting the Simpson’s/embiggening quote!

  28. Haukur

    Well, I’ve done some work on the femininity article. Still quite a bad piece but I’ve removed what I felt were the worst parts and inserted a couple of pictures. Feel free to pitch in.

  29. Gayle

    Haukur,

    Thank you. It sounds like a lot of work.

    I’m going to check out your link now.

    Thanks again!

  30. Gayle

    I believe we cross posted. When I wrote: “It sounds like a lot of work,” I was referring to the admin process, not the femininity article.

    Regarding the latter (nice choice of pictures, btw), how can we “pitch in” exactly? Do you mean we can make suggestions here or at Wiki?

  31. vera

    How to pitch in: anyone can edit Wikipedia articles. Just go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page, and click the “create account” link (at the top right). You don’t really have to create an account — you can edit articles without one — but for a couple of reasons it’s best to have one.

    You can contribute to any Wikipedia article that’s not locked. Go to the article and click the “edit” tab. You’ll notice that there’s a wiki syntax, which may seem confusing but isn’t too bad once you get used to it. This page has many links to articles on getting started, writing wiki syntax, etc.: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Contents

    If blamers become Wikipedia editors, will articles like the “femininity” one improve? I predict that the ratio of article pages to discussion pages will be somewhere around 1:100.

  32. ::wendy::

    comparing the wikipedian article on feminity with the article on masculinity in terms of structure and content is quite revealing. Unfortunately I’m way too lazy to write a synopsis beyond saying that the depth of coverage and theming is different in a way that is positively disposed towards masculinty as a concept. Now there’s a suprise. ;-)

  33. KMTberry

    I thought “Embiggening” was a perfectly CROMULENT word.

    But I also thought that Twisty invented the word “Godbag”.

    Twisty: where did YOU first read or hear “Godbag”? Because I first read it here, at IBTP.

  34. jami

    bitey, that was a hilarious 10-year gamut femininity ran.

    but the suggestion that tomboys are feminine stuck in my craw. unless women redefine femininity from the ground up, one can be tomboyish or feminine, not really both. for now, they are contradictory by definition.

    and the notion of feminine is not really worth redefining. i can’t envision a scenario in which being categorized for fuckability by insecure het men is necessary or useful or good for women.

  35. Haukur

    All right, Pony. Essjay became successful in the Wikipedia hierarchy in the normal way – by doing lots and lots of work. When people became aware that he had claimed to hold university degrees he didn’t have and sometimes referred to those degrees to bolster his position in an argument, they weren’t too happy. Many Wikipedians (including me) asked him to resign his positions. Eventually founder Jimbo Wales asked him to resign and at that point he did.

    Now moving to the general subject of successful editing on Wikipedia. If you play by the rules you can edit to ensure your political views are represented without being perceived as biased. Here are some points.

    * Write very dry and plain prose. No ‘elegant’ turns of phrase, no exclamation points. Deadpan language is most likely to stick.

    * If you’re going to negatively describe someone you need to attribute the view to a reliable source or some notable figure. If you edit the article on person X to add: “X frequently engages in misogynistic rants” you’ll be quickly reverted. What you need to add is something like: “X has been widely criticized for engaging in “misogynistic rants”" and then you have a footnote citing newspaper articles confirming this. Or you can have something like: “X was criticized by Andrea Dworkin for “engaging in misogynistic rants”", followed by a footnote to where she said that.

    * When people add material you don’t think is helpful you’ve got to play by the rules in getting it removed. If there are no sources for the material you can usually just go ahead and remove it, perhaps arguing that it is “original research” (a big no-no on Wikipedia). If sources are listed you can sometimes show that they are not “reliable sources” as defined on Wikipedia. Alternatively you can argue that some view is being given “undue weight”, violating the “neutral point of view”. Obviously, newbies don’t know how to play by those rules so they often get their edits reverted and become frustrated.

  36. Haukur

    Gayle,

    You can pitch in by going to the article and pushing the “edit this page” button. You can also make suggestions on the “discussion” page.

    Someone with a username of “Jamidwyer” has joined in, rewritten some parts and added a couple of pictures. Now I think the article is a bit too picture-heavy but it’s better than it was a couple of days ago.

  37. Sylvanite

    justicewalks, I’m aware that African-Americans often have to add grease to their hair due to dryness (I had an amusing conversation with an African-American coworker at the Dept. of Public Welfare wherin she was astounded to learn that I have to wash my hair every day lest it become as oily as the floor of a fried chicken joint). It was the Cone Perfume Slow Melting construction that makes the whole operation seem “goofy.” I get having to add the grease, but I don’t know how I’d react to someone with a big cone of fat sitting on their head, slowly melting into their scalp. I know, I know, cultural bias, but there must be a reason why the practice hasn’t been revived in Africa. It seems so – undignified and impractical. Maybe it attracts bugs, or makes it difficult for the wearer to go about daily business without servants.

    But then, I’m the sort of person who goes to see the King Tut exhibit, only to spend the whole time thinking what a waste of resources and human energy and talent all those grave goods represent. What can I say, I’m a geologist for a reason. The rocks just sit there quietly, looking pretty, or mousy, or solid, according to their natures. Seldom do they behave according to the arbitrary whims of fashion.

  38. Pony

    Thanks Haukur. I think it was Wales did that created Essjay, and several others who behave in a similar fashion. Wales knew what Essjay had lied and bullied, but kept it to himself, not only didn’t ban him but promoted him into Wikimedia. But then what could we expect. Wales built Wikipedia on funds he made from the degradation and abuse of women. He founded and owned the pornography website Bomis. Wales is a pimp.

  39. Pony

    Vera the radical feminist pages have been primarly written and edited by one Peter Werner aka IAMCURIOUSBLUE a self-declared pornography user and pornography business supporter. Have a look at the Melissa Farley page, especially his interaction with Nikki Craft in discussion. That’s Wikipedia in action. Haukur is giving us a sanitized reading of it here, although I think Haukur sounds reasonable enough, he’d be one of about a half-dozen who aren’t just power tripping women haters.

  40. orange

    I submit that the only truly accurate accounts on Wikipedia are those articles relating to The Simpsons. Somebody was thorough beyond belief.

  41. Scott Andrew Hutchins

    My name is Scott. I edit Wikipedia a thousand times a day and it’s 100% correct all the time. I eat Doritos and my cat’s name is Fluffy. I have nine toes. I lost one in a lawnmower. Whoops. If only the lawnmower article was more thorough, I would have ten toes today. That’s why I strive to edit each article and sleep a few minutes each day so that people do not lose their toes in horrible lawnmower accidents. I have a BA, an MA, and 17 other degrees and am in no way a student in junior high school. My mommy gave me permission to write this. Please write me because I’m lonely and a virgin.

  42. Scott Andrew Hutchins

    Oh and don’t forget to read about all the scary details about my life. It’s splattered all over the internet because I’m lonely. Like here I discuss how it’s hard to get a job because I’m an uber-genius and have millions of degrees and edit thousands of Wikipedia articles so I had to collect welfare:

    http://www.csiforums.net/posting.php?mode=quote&p=2306&sid=10325c5a52bf7527bd5d9ad5dc2599de

    It is sad. I cry alone each night but internet is my friend. And besides, little Orphan Annie had a harder knock life than me, yessireebob. Oh and did I mention I’m a virgin? I mention that somewhere else on the internet too. Well, hugs and kisses now. Toodles.

  43. vera

    It seems to me that there’s a big problem with trying to write an article on femininity from “a neutral point of view,” unless you’re from another planet.

    But you all must read the Wikipedia article on masculinity. Here’s a sampling:

    Males have to be “driven” biologically and psychologically to mount and copulate with their female partners and be potent enough to impregnate them. Humanity is no exception. cite

    I also like this tidbit: “Men seem to masturbate more.” It is in a section entitled, “Coping strategies.”

  44. Haukur

    Some of the worst parts of the masculinity article, such as the tidbit vera quotes above, were contributed last month by someone identified only by an IP address. I’ve now removed those parts. Still not a good article, of course, feel free to improve it.

  45. vera

    Haukur, I am a refugee from the open source community. My experiences there tend to color my POV.

    Being a girl geek in the open source community is no better than being a girl geek anywhere else. If you like being amply, and often, reminded that you’re a scorned minority, then it’s a fine place to be.

  46. ginmar

    Don’t read the wiki about paternal rights in abortion—-it’s written by MRAs and it makes pregnant women sound like vacuum cleaners or something likewise inanimate.

  47. Haukur

    That’s interesting, and sad, vera. I’ve now read your blog post on leaving the OS community and I know what you’re talking about regarding process. On Wikipedia I’ve long argued that process is important in a climate where “ignore all rules” is, I kid you not, official policy. In practice, of course, Wikipedia has a lot of rules and you’d best obey them if you want to get anywhere but the “IAR principle” sometimes provides people with a dominant streak with the excuse they need to try to force their way through.

  48. Kali

    “If you play by the rules you can edit to ensure your political views are represented without being perceived as biased.”

    This is my biggest problem with Wikipedia. It pretends to be neutral but it is not. It is all about playing by some rules that allow you to manage *perceptions* about neutrality/objectivity, without actually being neutral, or being honest about your non-neutrality. A wolf going around in sheep clothing.

  49. Bird

    Don’t read the wiki about paternal rights in abortion—-it’s written by MRAs and it makes pregnant women sound like vacuum cleaners or something likewise inanimate.

    Holy crap, I just read it. Makes me want to punch the wall by my desk (good thing I’m at work and exercising some self-restraint).

    I had a relationship break up because I chose to have an abortion. Or, as I put it to him, “I’d rather chew off my right arm than have a child right now.” He claimed to support my choice and proceeded to treat me like crap and abuse me until things finally ended nearly two years later. He then told me that he’d never been able to forgive me for “killing his baby” and that’s why he treated me like shit all that time.

    Okay, really, really angry now.

  50. NeoCleo

    Thanks for quoting from the Wiki entry–it’s already been removed so I couldn’t enjoy it in its entirety. Still, I read enough from your above.

  51. Haukur

    NeoCleo, you can see the old version referred to by clicking the ‘history’ tab and going back before my changes.

  52. ginmar

    “His baby”—-like what did he put into it but a squirt?

  53. Bird

    Ginmar, he was a prime example of a guy who claims to support women’s rights—as long as those rights don’t belong to his woman. He was all for a woman’s right to choose, just not my right to choose. He also professed to hate men who beat their wives, but he had no problem giving me a black eye.

    Many men will talk big about women’s rights. Very few of them will act on those professed opinions. IBTP.

  54. LMYC

    “Men seem to masturbate more.”

    While wanking is occasionally not without its diversions, I posit that this is because the male standards for an acceptable sexual experience are dreadfully low. Besides, masturbation lets them get to the orgasm without worrying about the tedious annoying bits beforehand, those being the ones that have to do with recognizing that there is another human in the bed with you.

  55. Haukur

    [This comment is actually the work of the faux Scott Andrew Hutchins, and is left undeleted because it is referenced below by the actual Haukur -- Twisty]

    Like Scott Andrew Hutchins, I also sleep only three minutes a day to edit a billion gazillion articles a day, as you can see by my talk page on Wikipedia where it’s clear that I speak a billion gazillion different languages. This makes me special and superior to you.

    I do this so that people will care about who I am as an individual and praise me as a smart person because my parents told me I was a bad bad child when I was seven years old and pooped all over the house and ate some of it. I never got over the humiliation of my parents’ scorn for my insane behaviour and vowed that I would take revenge one day.

    We should all recognize the divinity of Wikipedia as our communal Lord and Saviour and anyone who can’t see that and thinks for themselves is stupid. It is not a cult, no matter what pro-abortion lesbian evildoers say about it.

    My point is that if you don’t like Wikipedia, you have the right to change it. Or to put it another way: you have the right to be enslaved to Wikipedia all day and all night forever while you try and plug the breaking dam with the power of your thumb. Some say Wikipedia is a bunch of semi-retarded people beating their heads against the wall and kept busy while the adults do _real_ things with their lives. I however call it progress.

    Oh and don’t forget to check out my shiny stars that I collected as incentive for being a good person on Wikipedia, like my “Barnstar”, “The Matt Crypto Enigma Rotor Award”, “The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar” and the “I’m a lunatic barnstar”.

  56. acacia

    I love Twisty Faster! I also love the New Yorker; the discrediting of “essjay” that accidentally followed their article about Wikipedia delighted me as well. I think there is still a case to be made for editors after all – except in the case of Twisty’s immaculate prose.

  57. acacia

    By the way, Twisty embiggens my spirit as well.

  58. ginmar

    Bird, what gets me about men aren’t the rapists or the batterers or even the hypocrites: it’s all the guys who stand silently by and silently endorse all of that, while protesting that their silence is a s ign of their superiority to the active ones. They really do believe that as long as someone out there is beating up women worse than than them, then they’re acceptable. It’s always okay as long as somebody out there is worse than him.

  59. Bird

    My preferred men are the ones who don’t stand around saying how good they are. They’re the ones who are out there making an effort to not be fuckwits and not making a big deal out of it. If you’re part of an oppressive group, you don’t need a pat on the back for trying to stop oppressing. You’re just finally doing what you should.

    But there are a lot of guys in the “I’m not as much of an asshole as him, so that makes me okay, right?” camp. Sure, you don’t physically force your girlfriend to do what you want but you make her do it by intimidation or emotional blackmail (or other types of creepiness). Yeah, you’re such a good guy!

    My abusive ex thought he wasn’t too bad because he didn’t beat me up all the time, just when he was drunk. Sure, intoxication excuses everything. Same old story—some of them have even tried to use it as a defense for rape, too.

  60. Miller

    I just barely read the masculinity section. That “humanity is no exception” is most extreme. Damn! How can anyone in their right mind say wikipedia is not overtly political (Think: Rush Limbaugh). No one seems to ask them if male violence against females, especially sexual violence, is so natural why would you need violence to reinforce nature? Why would it be sound to evolution if just about any male could phsyically overwhelm any female, thus, negating any challenge to overcome? As long as we define rape as a “sex crime” rather than a hate crime the public will still associate it with unbridled male sexuality and since humanity is no exception (Why exactly? Because the tyrants say so), females be damned.
    Oh and those silent “nice guys” are die-hard believers of hate (Think: the nice young white men who just enjoyed the lynchings of blacks but didn’t actually do it). These are the same bigots who say Eminem speaks for them, as he says what they wish they could say. This “artist” is proof just how much society (not just men) hates you. Society universally came to the defense of blatant, non-stop, ultra-violent and sadistic hate on that damn album of his in 2000 with such lovely excuses as “outrageous humor” and “cartoonish violence” (I completely left out the “His mother and girlfriend did him wrong so his violent bigotry against all girls and women is justified” excuse). If this was truly just about humor why would people so damn defensive (Frank Rich of the NYT refered to dissenters as “moral scolds”). Can you imagine someone attacking you for not laughing at “just a joke?” No, b/c you can only laugh at jokes you consider to be true because you subscribe to necessary assumptions (females are worthless and evil). And we all know those assumptions are sacred.

  61. Miller

    Is this Scott Andrew Hutchins serious?
    One would think that your sarcasm (or was it an attempt at parody? or satire? wit?) on a radically feminist site would’ve been…effective.
    I checked out your Wikipedia profile. (Check it out by the way, it’s hi-lar-ious!) One thing: it’s quite peculiar that you mention you don’t speak “dumbass” yet you tend to be most fluent in said language when responding to legitimate questions about the site with a pathetic attempt at bitchiness (Oh no, I just totally downgraded you to female-level! You’re one of us now.) We just asked questions about the overtly hostile politics of the site and you mock us while griping over how difficult it is to edit so many pages. Question: why the hell did you sign up? Did you not realize that editing one of the most popular websites in the world would be a tad…difficult, perhaps even time-consuming? Yet, in spite of such a hectic and sex-less life (this user practices abstinence), you somehow manage to have time to dedicate yourself to broadcasting to everyone–I mean, everyone (from listing your website to your AIM screenname to your MySpace page)–who you are and what you believe in, going so far as to mention your love of grammar to excruciating detail.
    I honestly can’t tell if your profile is a joke or not. A male who lists gender equality as a “like” and openly admires a woman’s rights activist automatically raises suspicion, especially, when that male is more pissed at those who point out the obvious of bigoted editing rather than the actions of the wiki-tyrants allowed by a site that shields dogma from criticism in the name of “democracy.”

  62. Haukur

    I think it is safe to assume that the person signing posts here as Scott Andrew Hutchins is not, in fact, the Wikipedian by that name but someone attempting to parody him. It is presumably the same person who signed a post with my name above (at 6:09 pm) saying “I was seven years old and pooped all over the house” etc.

    Can I blame the patriarchy for the poor quality of trolling around here?

  63. Miller

    I thought it seemed odd.

  64. vera

    You can always blame the patriarchy.

  65. Bird

    Miller, the quiet guys I’m talking about as the ones I prefer are the ones who act more than they talk. Rather than sitting around saying how good they are to women, they actually go and make an effort to do the right thing. Right actions mean more to me than right words any day.

    Tacit approval is never okay in my books. Right action includes standing up and saying no when it counts. What I mean is the difference between “Look at me! I’m a good guy!” and shutting the hell up about how good you are and actually behaving a decent human being.

    The kind of guy I’m objecting to is the one who thinks that by saying how much he supports feminism and how good he is to women, he can get away with being an asshole.

  66. pyramus

    I have nothing to add to everyone’s well-founded patriarchy-blaming righteousness regarding Wikipedia, but I would like to elaborate on Sylvanite’s musing:

    It was the Cone Perfume Slow Melting construction that makes the whole operation seem “goofy.” I get having to add the grease, but I don’t know how I’d react to someone with a big cone of fat sitting on their head, slowly melting into their scalp. I know, I know, cultural bias, but there must be a reason why the practice hasn’t been revived in Africa. It seems so – undignified and impractical. Maybe it attracts bugs, or makes it difficult for the wearer to go about daily business without servants.

    It makes no sense to you, I think, because it was a matter of fashion, which changes drastically over time and somehow manages not to repeat itself much over the centuries. (Codpieces went away in the sixteenth century and never came back in any serious way.) The wearing of the perfumed cones of fat wasn’t something Egyptians did every day: it was a part of their party dress, worn to evening dinner parties. Because lice were a problem, they generally cut their hair very short or shaved it altogether, and then wore wigs: for these parties, they would wear the perfumed cones which would melt and cover pretty much everything–not just their wigs and scalp but their clothing and skin, and, one would have to presume, the furniture as well. The cones were considered such an essential part of dressing for dinner that servants would hand guests new cones as their old ones melted away to nothing. We may think it sounds greasy and nasty, but the feeling of the melting fat trickling over the skin was supposedly very pleasant.

    I guess what it boils down to is that Northern Africans don’t wear cones of perfumed fat on their heads any more for the same reason that European women don’t wear panniers any more: because it’s no longer the fashion to do so.

  67. LMYC

    We also have to keep in mind that we are looking at these customs from several thousand years of remove and hence it’s a lead-pipe cinch that we’re not 100% accurate on what it looked like, smelled like, or how it was really carried out.

    I keep envisioning things like renaissance fairs in 500 years time when people make mockups of contemporary clothing and try to nitpick over what’s “period.” How much do you want to bet that people will make anything out of faded blue fabric and call it “jeans,” no matter what it looked like?

    Archaeology is an inexact field of study; until they make a time machine, we just don’t know for sure what these cones of fat were, looked like, how they were used, IF they were actually used by everyone … I mean, not every man in my office (or even a majority) wear suits and ties, but if you believed the vast majority of what’s written down (and what’s likely to survive in a millennium’s time), every single one of them do.

    Even the berserk crap that women supposedly wore on their heads a few hundred years ago isn’t set in stone. I’ve seen sketches of women with frigging birdcages in their wigs, but take a look at whatever godawful monstrosity is flouncing sdown the catwalk at the latest European fashion show. I’ve seen women wearing shit that look like venetian blinds. Doesn’t mean that all, or even ANY, women in their normal daily lives wear that extreme stuff.

  68. Twisty

    Haukur:

    I think it is safe to assume that the person signing posts here as Scott Andrew Hutchins is not, in fact, the Wikipedian by that name but someone attempting to parody him. It is presumably the same person who signed a post with my name above (at 6:09 pm) saying “I was seven years old and pooped all over the house” etc.

    Can I blame the patriarchy for the poor quality of trolling around here?

    The impostor is banned, and I have prepended an expository note to the comment wherein he impersonates you.

    While I would never argue against blaming the patriarchy for anything, it doesn’t stretch the limits of reason to suppose that I am also somewhat responsible for “Scott Andrew Hutchins,” having failed to give recent comments the old eagle eye with my usual assiduity. Sorry.

  69. Bird

    LMYC: sounds like someone’s been at a few too many SCA events.

  70. Haukur

    Hey, thanks Twisty, that was nice of you :)

    Can you recommend any books to use as resources for writing a decent article on femininity? I’ve been reading The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective by Tavris and Wade. It’s readable and covers a lot of ground but it’s a bit dated.

  71. Pony

    The Whole Woman
    Germaine Greer

    Woman: An Intimate Geography
    Natalie Angier

    And, as recommended elsewhere on IBTP
    The Dialectic of Sex
    Shulamith Firestone

    Some online reading:
    Prostitution Research and Education
    http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/

    Pornography as a Cause of Rape
    http://www.dianarussell.com/porntoc.html

  72. Scott Andrew Hutchins

    This is the real Scott Andrew Hutchins, and I think I found what my brother meant when he said that he wouldn’t hire me over my internet postings. I would appreciate the faux comments being removed, or at least the faux name taken away.

    I’m guessing it was one of the people who got me banned from film-talk posting them.

  73. Twisty

    Yes, but how do we know you are the real Scott Andrew Hutchins? And what does “hire [you] over internet postings” mean? Also, what is “film-talk” and what does your brother have to do with any of this?

  74. Helen

    Twisty, getting back to which words and phrases you’ve brought to the English language, I think “Obstreperal lobe” is definitelyyours, no?

  75. Twisty

    Helen, we Obtreperonites have a saying, “blobb yrgrt,” which translates roughly as “il n’y plus de nouveau sous le soleil.”

  76. Scott Andrew Hutchins

    My brother said he thinks that posts I have made on the internet (or more likely, posts like the above, which I didn’t make, but are associated with my name) are seen by employers who Google my name and used to screen me out of the hiring process. Film-talk.com is a posting board affiliated with DVD Aficionado, dvdaf.com. While I am still on dvdaf.com, I was banned from film-talk.com, ostenstibly because I put too many negative comments about popular films, such as _Rocky_, a film I find utterly ludicrous and incredibly overrated.

  77. Jill

    Scott Andrew Hutchins! What a joy to hear from you (is it really you?) after all these years! How is your brother? And how is your career as a banned-from-film-talk person coming along? By all means keep us posted; as patriarchy blamers, we couldn’t be more interested in your views on “Rocky.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>