May 16 2007

And now, the conclusion

The kangaroo has heard the arguments, and finds against the defendant.

In future, the moderator will enforce a policy requiring that dissenting opinions clearly exhibit philosophic value. Disruption for its own sake will not be tolerated. Antifeminist comments will not be admitted into discussion. Responses to trolls will also be nuked.

Please click here for the definition of antifeminism I use on this blog.

With my keen sense of the inevitable, I divine that somebody is about to accuse me of “censorship,” or protest that Twisty only wants to preach to the choir. Allow me to remind the reader that this is a feminist blog. It discusses feminism from the point of view that the value of the liberation of women is not itself a matter of debate. Therefore, while opposing viewpoints are encouraged and welcomed, in order to be considered suitable for posting here, these views must proceed from within a framework of feminist theory.

Non-opposing views, of course, may proceed from any dang where. And antifeminist views may be posted on practically every other blog in the universe.

Meanwhile, thanks to Mandos for being a good sport, and so long. If I may tender a suggestion: should he find intolerable the void left by the illogical feminists, he could always ply his trade on one of those ‘I Love My Corny BDSM Lifestyle’ blogs.


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  1. yankee transplant

    “It discusses feminism from the point of view that the value of the liberation of women is not itself a matter of debate.”

    And this is why we love it here.

  2. OlderWiserFuckAlltoShowForIt

    And why it’s OUR space.

  3. MzNicky

    Thank you Twisty. We now return to our regularly scheduled blaming.

  4. Daisy

    Thanks Twisty! I like the idea of IBTP as one of the few “safe spaces” that we can discuss these issues.

  5. Heart


    I spam anti-feminists by the googleplex. Sometimes they just keep trying to comment until I blacklist them, I guess just for the satisfaction of knowing at least one person — me — has to read their bullshit.

    For example, yesterday I got this from a guy who must have tried to comment 20 times to the “I Believe Her” comments thread (in support of the Duke woman who was victimized by frat boy stripperhounds) and who got duly spammed 20 times:

    Since you will be the only one to ever read this due to your pathetic censorship “Heart”, I thought it would be appropriate to tell you that you’re absolutely pathetic. If you ever want to be taken seriously then you will respond to what other people have to say to challenge your views. You make yourself look like an idiot when all you post are positive comments. Maybe you should stick to cooking and cleaning…

    Right. Because in the “I Believe Her” thread, I ought to include comments which bring the eardrum-shattering “I don’t believe her or any woman” choir onto MY RADICAL FEMINIST BLOG. Because the existence of my radical feminist blog amidst thousands of misogynist, anti-feminist blog constitutes “censorship.” Because my ENTIRE BLOG isn’t a response to what other people have to say — misogynists, patriarchs — which “challenges my views”. Because I give one good goddamn about being “taken seriously” by the likes of stripperhounds, pornhounds, SM-addicts, the deluded, those in the thrall of Stockholm syndrome, and assorted misogynists.


    Anyway, YAY again! So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye to all of the interminable pricks who really hate blogs because they are one place in which radical feminist women can demonstrate our overall brilliance unhindered by misogynist idiocy. And thanks for this opportunity to vent. :)


  6. LCforevah

    Thank you, Twisty for getting rid of the thread hijacker.

    Speaking of another kind of hijacking, I did not watch the debate last night, since I can’t stomach Republican ranting, but apparently, Sam Brownback placed both his hands over his own “womb” while explaining that women must agree to bear the fetus of their rapists! Just when I think it can’t get any worse!

  7. Heart

    And he even ends his stupid with an ellipse!

  8. Bubbas' Nightmare

    I’ve been working on a high-level approach doco on anti-misogynist moral education for the spawn in our lives, and the end of the recent tribunal lets me get back on track with that.

    And I, too, appreciate the opportunity for pure, high-octane discussions without the “but what about” factor.

    Whew! Just barely remembered: no ellipses…

  9. delphyne

    That’s a relief. Merci beaucoup, Twisty.

    And more power to all the radical feminist bloggers faced with torrents of bullying and abuse because they refuse to give men who hate women a platform.

  10. Q Grrl

    [complete drift]

    Heart, you might want to check out some of the items mentioned near the end of this report: http://www.wral.com/asset/news/local/2007/05/11/1407531/DurhamPDLAXReport.swf

  11. Theriomorph

    Love for Twisty.

  12. Spinning Liz

    Today is one of those days when I want nothing more in the universe than to go live on a remote troll-free desert island somewhere with only Twisty and her brilliant entertaining blamers for company. Plus Miss Patsy and her poodle of course.

  13. 'soup

    Ahhh (a sigh of relief). Indeed a troll-free zone is a thing of beauty.

  14. grimalkin

    Concern trolls are the most boring trolls. They are ruining the internets. I miss the days when trolls were the source of fun chaos.

    As for censorship, it seems obvious to me at least that people who post here honestly, and not out of hatred, are engaged, whether they support or criticize particular instances of blamery.

    I generally read the blaming here and learn from it, having not much to add. Posters like Mandos increase the noise:signal ratio.

  15. stacy

    can we now get back to the discussion on consent? we’re not nearly thru with that topic. I read to 380 and can’t bear to go back and pick thru the trollshit to find all the great stuff. can we have a new post so we can start fresh?

  16. Feminist Avatar

    I absolutely second the call for a discussion on consent, especially in a new thread becuase my browser starts to cry after 200 or so posts.

  17. S.C.U.M.

    It’s high time we kick out those that would attack us. because frankly, we need a forum where we aren’t attacked. Because in the real world women are freakin’ attacked all the time. ALL THE TIME. Like myself last Friday night.

    Out with a drink with my “friend” and her new boyfriend, a Pakistani English guy who works in fashion. Yes, terror. He set me up with a friend of his because I still exist in the het dimension (delusion) I accepted. It turned out his friend was quite a political leftist and a feminist. During one of our really cool discussions (after a few drinks) the date of my friend leered at me and said with seething anger, “I didn’t know you were sucha feminist. Even the way you carry yourself. The way you put everyone else down who doesn’t think like you..” I stood up from the table and told him that any person that does not believe in their own equality or anyone else’s is not worth talking to. My idiot friend said nothing and got drunker. We then all got in a cab with this idiot. She was going to take him back to her house to fuck him. because, in the REAL WORLD, women are so used to being degraded and their friends degraded that it’s all business (should be charging if women are viewed as whores anyway) as usual! We get in the car he launches into another attack on me being a feminist. I tell him “Fuck you you fashion faggot..” Not nice to go homophobic but I knew it would get him where he fucking lived (as mysochinits are terrified of being seen as “female” as they fucking hate women) he them proceeded to kick me out of the cab becoming increasing loud and seemingly violent. I left my drunk friend in the car. I attempted to open the car door to get her out thinking that this guy might actually kill and/or rape her. The cab sped away. i spent the rest of the night calling her (no answer) and wondering if I should call the cops. The next day I reached her. She was having breakfast with the guys and told me she didn’t want to talk about it and got defensive and abusive to me. I told her she was an asshole and if she wanted to be beaten up by some fuckwad she could do it far away from me. She called me this week telling me (GULP) I was right he was a jerk. At least she got out alive and wasn’t stoned in the village square as is the practice in Arab countries. This is just one weekend out my sisters. I can’t tell you how many nights I or a friend has come close to being raped, hit, abused verbally or physically in NYC. This is fucking life. And our survival is more that a blog.

  18. Dawn Coyote

    I gotta say: as oustings go, that was remarkably decent.

  19. Dawn Coyote

    Off Topic:

    Saudi Stepford Wife

  20. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    For the first 25 years of my life, I had a man telling me almost daily I was 1) stupid, 2) insane, 3) lazy, 4) worthless, 5) overly sensitive, or 6) some combination of all of them. The threat of physical violence was always abundantly clear, whether it was directed at the family pet, my sisters, my mom, or me. The day he died felt like getting out of prison.

    So anyplace that is free of intimidation by means of male privilege is F-I-N-E fine with me.

  21. Kwillz

    We are going to get a Falwell farewell blog, right?

  22. Hattie

    Hattie does not like the Mandos shoes.

  23. MedeaOnCrack

    Yes, a new discussion on consent, or archiving of only the relevant posts from this discussion or whatever is least work. I have begun giving the links to important discussions here on women’s issues listservs. You’d be surprised how many feminists don’t know about blogs, and are really knocked back at the level of commentary here. This is not ONLY a place for us to vent, it’s an extremely VALUABLE archive of feminist thinking. I suppose it’s usefull in 10 or more years for anyone googling to see we could still be held hostage by one such as Mandos, but the actual thinking here about feminist issues is even more important. Don’t think google will be archiving us for 10 or more years? I don’t know, but you can search google for usenet conversations archived from 1986 on, so I tend to think of IBTP as historical feminist record.

  24. Feminist Avatar

    I completely agree MedeaOnCrack. It does raise an interesting question about preservation. I have noticed that some bloggers take down their blogs when they give up posting, and it is certainly the case that when the person who own the website that holds the blog stops paying the fee, it will no longer be there. It seems a shame that at some point such great feminist thinking as occurs at IBTP may be lost. I wonder if there is any archives out there who would store the information as a historical record.

    I know that some of the women involved in the women’s movement of the 1960s said that much of the literature that they created in their organisations have not survived as people just binned them over the years. It is tragic when the women’s movement had such a huge historical impact and those vital sources for historians and feminists today are lost.

  25. RadFemHedonist

    I tell him “Fuck you you fashion faggot..” Not nice to go homophobic but I knew it would get him where he fucking lived (as mysochinits are terrified of being seen as “female” as they fucking hate women)

    I’m still not sure that was such a good idea, I mean, was insult even so much the point as getting the crap outta there? Anyway, that is really awful, I’m glad you and your friend were OK.

  26. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Kwillz, I quote LMYC (out of context, but still):

    Add him to the list of People Whose Graves I Intend To Marinate In Piss When I Achieve Omnipotence.

  27. RadFemHedonist

    “Therefore, while opposing viewpoints are encouraged and welcomed, in order to be considered suitable for posting here, these views must proceed from within a framework of feminist theory.”

    That’s one of the best explanations of a point I’ve ever heard. No, really, I was unsure as to how you decide between a troll and someone with interest in learning and such.

    This makes it clear, plus I must say that the vote out really made me realise that I find Mandos incredibly boring, seriously, I can’t remember the last time I made it through one of Mandos’s posts.

  28. MedeaOnCrack

    An organization I worked with in the ’70s has been partly archived and it only happened after some complaint from the a couple women involved.

    Also with ‘official’ archives (and museums) they are always sifting and getting rid of what is not considered important or is duplicated in some way. I think feminist record would fit in the unworthy category. Archivists and museum management are still primarily men, I assert. How much do you see in so-called living museums that has anything to do with women’s history that isn’t connected to the patriarchy?

    Google is archiving, as you’ll see if you go below, but how completely, and for how long will it stay? I’ve also seen mention that feminist blogs closed down are being squatted by pornography sites. This has happened to a couple rad fems blogs (can’t remember which), so that when feminists search on the old blog name, porn links come up.

    Specific blog search

    Google search will also work for blog searches

  29. inspiredbycoffee

    Catherine Mackinnon wrote nearly twenty years ago now in “Toward a Feminist Theory of the State” on the subject of ‘consciousness raising’ (which presumably is EXACTLY what feminist blogging is?):

    “The fact that men were not physically present was usually considered necessary to the process. Although the ways of seeing that women have learned in relation to men were very much present or there would be little to discuss, men’s temporary concrete absence helped women feel more free of the immediate imperative to compete for male attention and approval, to be passive or get intimidated, or to support men’s version of reality.

    It made speech possible…

    Subjects like sexuality, family, body, money, and power could be discussed more openly. The pain of women’s roles and women’s stake in them could be confronted critically, without the need every minute to reassure men that these changes were not threatening to them or to defend women’s breaking of roles as desirable…”

  30. PhysioProf

    As an avid male reader, and occasional poster, it has been very clear to me from Day 1 that engaging in typical male “pedantic asshole” style discourse here is a waste of time: both mine and, of much greater importance, Twisty’s and the female regulars’.

    As I understand Twisty’s position, the only appropriate role for a male here is to learn, maybe on rare occasions to inform, but never to attempt to convince. And I must say, that is a refreshing role for me to adopt, as I spend the vast majority of my professorial life convincing various people of all sorts of things and generally acting like a pedantic asshole.

  31. figleaf

    Good decision, Twisty. It’s your blog and bloggers since day one have had the right to choose whether or how to moderate their own blog comments. In fact they’ve been doing it since… well… since before blogs had comments at all!

    Also, since it is, after all, your own blog (with your own domain name and perhaps bandwidth you actually *paid* for) it’s even more perfectly fine to give someone the boot if they’re just showing up to hijack your comments and distract your readers.

    It could only be censorship if some commenter you banned from your own blog somehow couldn’t go start her or his own blog, for free, in less than two seconds, and then say anything or everything they wanted to say there. As it is there just isn’t any way you could stop someone else from saying whatever, whenever, anywhere else but here. Once your erstwhile corresondent has his own place he can cultivate his own fan club, or your readers can go argue with him over there, but either way he can still have a voice and either way you can keep your blog on which ever track you want it on.


  32. Laura

    I’m sure I don’t need to point out that not all “Arab countries” stone people in the village square, nor can all “Arab countries” be lumped together. Your comment made it perfectly clear what an ass this guy was and I’m unsure why his nationality was a necessary part of the story.

    Also, “faggot”?

    Remember the intersection of misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, and how it’s not cool to do any of them?

  33. Bonnie

    I vote to clone LMYC.


  34. Hattie

    You can archive an entire blog on Adobe as a PDF.

  35. LilliEve

    Hey Twisty, so glad you got rid of Mandos.

    Like many have already said, this blog is a valuable feminist resource where (most of the time) the comments are outrageously intelligent and thought-provoking.

    Thanks to most who comment here, I am continually learning and expanding my feminist knowledge. Trolls only spoil the one place I can come for life viewed through feminist-coloured glasses. I love this blog as a place where “views must proceed from within a framework of feminist theory”.

  36. MedeaOnCrack

    Yes Hattie but can we download it.

  37. clew

    Aw, I’m late.

    I’d have voted for one post per thread, with a word-limit; I didn’t mind his nitpicking per se, only its tedious length.

  38. Antelope

    Just read all the new FAQ sections, and I have to say I just love the Men Hate You piece.

    Talk about a phrase I never thought would leave my fingers.

  39. S.C.U.M.

    True Laura and I agree RedFemHedonist. Wasn’t the smartest thing to do and certainly resorting to homophobia is a disgusting practice, but honestly I was so fucking tired of being attacked that I wanted to hurt back. It’s always so goddamned one way, I wanted to strick where the prick lived. And yes, getting away was the most important thing. But chipping away at his veneer of male privledge, well, it felt good.

    And not all Arab countries.. Please name fucking one in which women have any form of equality. Sorry Madam PC doesn’t exist. Time to call it as it is.

  40. Twisty

    Perhaps you can tell us, S.C.U.M., what “all the Arab countries” are, and provide us with citations for your assertion? If your criterion for omission from your sweeping generalization is ‘women’s equality’, I must inform you that it doesn’t exist anywhere on the planet.

  41. D'Attournee-Lawson

    I have lived in Egypt and travelled around “Arab countries,” and I can attest: bodily safety is an illusion ‘first world’ countries entertain, but there is no other distinction when just walkin’ ‘n’ bein’ female.

  42. Grumpus

    >>Please name fucking one in which women have any form of equality.

  43. thebewilderness

    I hereby pledge to try my hardest to overcome what I consider to be an almost irresistable need to feed the trollage. I shall get up and walk away, and when I come back to the screen, I shall resist. The need. To feed.

  44. Catherine Martell

    S.C.U.M.: fuck right off.

    The Arab world, as defined by membership of the Arab League, comprises a very large and diverse range of countries, stretching from Mauritania on the Atlantic Coast of Africa all the way to Oman on the eastmost tip of the Arabian peninsula. Twenty-three countries, 325 million people. They don’t all live in villages, and they don’t all stone women to death. In all of those countries, women have some form of equality, much though it may not be one that conforms to your ideas of what equality should be. In no country does the form of equality “granted” to women conform to my ideas of what equality should be.

    Pakistan, meanwhile, is nowhere near the Arabian lands. Its peoples are not Arabs; they’re a mixture of Persians, Afghans, Indians and a diverse selection of indigenous people, principally Pathans and Sindhis.

    You’re a racist homophobe. Don’t try to justify it with crap like this:

    Not nice to go homophobic but I knew it would get him where he fucking lived (as mysochinits are terrified of being seen as “female” as they fucking hate women)

    That’s not where it came from, and you know it.

    I’m ashamed of some of my fellow commenters for not calling you more clearly on your appalling language, and on your offensive ignorance and prejudices. I’m sorry you and your friend had the experience you did. But there is no justification for racism or homophobia. Ever. You could have dealt with the situation without them, and you certainly didn’t need to post them here.

    Mandos gets banned for picking a few nits, and yet someone comes on here spewing hate speech and there’s almost total silence. Notable exception of Laura. Both RadFemHedonist’s and Twisty’s comments seem rather too indulgent of S.C.U.M.’s bullshit to me. There is no reason to treat a racist homophobe with kid gloves just because she has a story about a guy who had a go at her for being a feminist and then became “seemingly violent” in a way that, to judge by the story, isn’t clear at all. We’ve all had worse than that, and the rest of us aren’t fucking bigots. At least, I hope we aren’t.

    I feel sick. If we’re not going to stand up against racism and homophobia, our feminism is meaningless.

  45. Virago

    I think we all stand up where and when we can and learn along the way. When we know better, we do better.

    That said, thank you for saying your piece about racism and homophobia and feminism. That’s truly what Audre Lorde was talkin’ about. Master’s tools and that.

  46. Silence

    Yes, S.C.U.M. needs to be called for task for her racism and homophobia, I agree. But Catherine Martell, you just put ‘seemingly violent’ in quotation marks, as if you don’t really believe she felt endangered or had an excuse to leave the cab. I don’t think you should be allowed to get away with that either, as it’s veering close to blaming the victim and giving the guy a free pass just because S.C.U.M. said hateful things.

    It was a bad situation all around from what I’m gathering. Let’s hope all parties learned something that will benefit them in the future.

    Now on to the topic at hand, I admit just the tiniest sliver of regret that Mandos is gone, even though I voted for his banishment. There were times when he amused me. But the board will be the better for his absence, which is the real point here. Thread hijacking adds nothing to the discussion.

  47. Liss

    But Catherine Martell, you just put ’seemingly violent’ in quotation marks, as if you don’t really believe she felt endangered or had an excuse to leave the cab.

    I’d assumed that she put it in quotation marks because she was quoting S.C.U.M., but go figure.

    Thanks for the smackdown, Catherine!

  48. Silence

    It’s possible that CM was, and I don’t mean to offend her, because it’s clear that she is quite rightfully pissed off about some of S.C.U.M’s comments. However, she does go on to say that the violence in the story wasn’t described clearly enough for her, which sounds to me like she’s belittling it a bit. I object to S.C.U.M.’s comments as well, but I’m quite willing to believe the guy was an asshole to her and needed to be taken down. Just not in that way.

  49. Laura

    Whether the violence was as bad, not as bad, or worse than she said, you don’t say crap like that unless you have those feelings in the first place. Sadly, we’ve all had people say and do horrible and violent things to us. Not all of us react with racism and homophobia. Because unless that’s already lurking in your psyche somewhere as a valid way to insult someone, it doesn’t just pop out, no matter how pissed you are. You’d be calling the guy an asshole (which he no doubt is), not a Pakistani asshole or a faggot.

    As far as calling me “Madam PC”: It seems to me that saying someone is too PC is just an updated version of the ‘stop being so sensitive’ rhetoric that feminists get from the Patriarchy all the time.

    Thanks for the backup, CM. When no one said anything I wondered if no one else was reading this thread anymore!

  50. yankee transplant

    Late to the party, but chiming in with being disturbed by S.C.U.M.’s comment. There should be no room here for homophobia and/or racism, as Catherine points out. There are many sub-classes, here and in other countries. Women are the ones that have the distinction of being included in all the others as well.
    Thanks, Catherine, for speaking up.

  51. Twisty

    Catherine Martell, you’re a genius and I love you with a special internet kinda love, and your response to SCUM’s bigotry is spot on, as usual, and you are absolutely right that neither my nor the commentariat’s response was swift or vehement.

    And now, I hope you’ll excuse me if I make an example of you.

    Lately it’s been dawning on me: I’m not sure I’m down with the whole “shame on you” dynamic. It kinda sets the shamer up as a sort of paragon and puts the shamees down as sort of patronized deviants. I mean, I can see where it’s coming from — one yearns to see nobility in one’s blogular confreres — but aren’t there rhetorical devices that can convey outrage and gravitas yet don’t so closely mimic either my mom or the patriarchal paradigm?

    I pose this question, not to dilute Catherine’s message on the necessity that feminism embrace a higher moral purpose than was demonstrated in the SCUM commentary — I reiterate, she is right — but because I am reluctant to encourage an environment — I’ve seen this on other blogs — where there’s always a sort of Race to the Smackdown and subsequent Pious Pile-On. In other words, I should like to promote an atmosphere in which enlightenment is the ascendant principle, rather than the personal KO with the feministier-than-thou leitmotif.

    I’m not alluding to the response to SCUM’s manifestos, of course, but to the collateral takedown of those commenters whose only ‘offense’ was that their rhetoric seemed to Catherine insufficiently impassioned when compared to the egregiousness of SCUM’s original insult. It didn’t happen here (at least, not yet), but I’ve seen these shamin’ carnivals snowball out of control, with the net effect that everybody’s pissed, nobody’s learned anything, and the window of opportunity for T & B slams on everyone’s fingers.

    I know this sounds pretty rich and/or pot-calling-kettle-black coming from someone who just engineered the public execution of a long-time reader, and I beg y’all’s indulgence if I seem to be unintelligible or contradicting myself or insane, but that whole Mandos thing got me thinking and I’m not done thinking yet. But so far: my concern is that, as long as this little ‘community’ seems to have sprung up, we ought to try to execute the principles we espouse (which is, of course, one of the useful things Catherine was saying, too). I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t call each other out. No, no, I do not propose a touchy-feely doctrine of appeasement! Au contraire! I merely suggest that the call-outs should, where possible, be enlightening in tone rather than humiliatory or depracating, particularly when the called-out are blamers who have already demonstrated advanced feminist chops and may only be experiencing temporary brain-fart or malfunction of the obstreperal lobe.

    Anyway. The official boot-out policy has now been amended specifically to include bigotry and racism expressed by commenters with poor blaming skills who are not equal to the task of enbiggening the discourse. SCUM is out.

  52. Dr. Helmet Breath

    Big thanks from me as well, Catherine.

    When I read S.C.U.M.’s original post, elements of it seemed so ignorant it almost sounded like parody. However, I’ve only recently de-lurked and I try to keep my comments very brief and neutral, so I felt like it wasn’t “my place” to say anything—and now, that just sounds like an excuse to make myself feel better for saying nothing at all. You’ve inspired me to call bullshit when I see it (which, thankfully is not very often on this blog compared to others I frequent.)

    Also, Ms. Catherine Martell… you are one of my favorite posters here. I love the calm, measured intelligence of your blaming and the biting wit that accompanies it. Though I feel incredibly dorky for saying that, I’ve always wanted to say it anyway.

  53. CannibalFemme

    Way back when, there was this Bloom County cartoon where Opus and co. couldn’t figure out if what they were watching on TV was news about the war, or the movie of the week. So as the explosions and gunfire go on, Opus finally has to ask: “Will somebody please tell me if I should be enjoying this or not?”

    All of which is a fairly crappy segue to what happened in my brain when I read SCUM’s post, except it was “Would somebody please tell me if I should respond to this or not?” because for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out if she was a troll trying to get blame-piled, or not. At this point, I’m guessing not.

    So here’s my pointless post-banishment plea to SCUM: in my experience, oppression sucks all over. So to me, employing language of homophobia (faggot) and/or racism to further the cause of feminism or to strike a blow for feminism is something that can’t possibly work.

    Twisty: please allow me to express my unbridled and wholehearted delight with your amendment to your booting policy. That is made of awesome.

    Catherine: you make my knees wobble. In a big-tough-womanly way, of course.

  54. RadFemHedonist

    To be honest, I should have been clearer, I really do object to the use of racist and homophobic language, not something you should use ever, plus patriarchy exists everywhere, women are exploited everywhere, indeed, you cannot have part of the world be opressive while another is not because any person who truly cares about the rights of all born homosapien born-persons, will take up arms if it’s that versus genital cutting, seriously, if I can’t convince someone because they are a jackass who won’t listen “but I like teh BAYBEEZ, can’t teh wimmins give up their bodies for a few months” then the only possible response is to defend my body using physical force. You can’t have one country that is non-opressive because it is being oppressive by not forcing the rest of the universe to be non-oppressive.

  55. slade

    SCUM is out for relating a story about a night out with cocktails in NYC? She even implied that what she said (in the heat of the moment) wasn’t nice. And us women must always be nice…and never have a bad thought…especially about a man….right?

  56. delphyne

    Not being bigoted isn’t “nice” it’s trying to be a decent human being (and everyone will have their own versions of what that means). Then again it’s a shame to see a woman canned so quickly when it did take a long, long time for the sexist Mandos to finally be told to leave. Is there a way for people to be given second chances provided they don’t continue to defend their bigotry?

  57. LouisaMayAlcott

    Well, y’know, women must be punished swiftly and surely, whereas males should be punished reluctantly and only with great care.

  58. Mar Iguana

    I’m hoping, Twisty, that when you’re done thinking this out you can see your way clear to giving S.C.U.M. a second chance. No doubt, her reaction while under attack was not the radical feminist way.

    But, maybe it would be more productive to help a woman develop responses to the kind of sexist situation she found herself in that doesn’t use the master’s tools under pressure. And, teach how to do it without humiliating and deprecating blamers “who have already demonstrated advanced feminist chops and may only be experiencing temporary brain-fart or malfunction of the obstreperal lobe.”

    This is a tough call. I’m not done thinking it through myself.

  59. Twisty

    Easy there, Blamer Cops! I never said nothing about being “nice.” My remarks pertain to practicing feminism on the blog. After begging your indulgence that I do so, I wondered out loud whether, order to accomplish the actual blogular practice of feminism, it might be necessary to re-examine certain of our tried-and-true rhetorical devices. The goal, obviously, is that we strive for the highest possible level of discourse.

    Maybe that’s asking too much of a blog. Maybe, in order to be interesting to internetians (rhymes with ‘Venetians’), feminist rhetoric has to mimic patriarchal rhetoric. After all, the exciting smackdown is what we’re all used to. Maybe, in order to be effective, feminist rhetoric must employ venerable elements of domination ideology. Maybe nobody will want to read the blog if it doesn’t contain phrases like “you fucking faggot!” or implications that “Arabs” are all barbarian murderers. Maybe the fun feminists just want to tell “grrls kick ass!” stories and pile on the unlucky commenters who have been deemed unPC.

    Well, I guess I’ll find out.

    Meanwhile, excising the antifeminist Mandos was long overdue, I agree, but it’s finally done. If you are concerned, Delphyne, that the boom of doom will fall unfairly in the future, I can only regret whatever caused your opinion of my sense of reason and decency to plummet. And LouisaMayAlcott, your remark is unfair. I never ban anybody except obvious trolls without first deliberating. Everybody (by which I mean ‘women’) gets second chances. Hell, most everybody gets way more than that. I just usually don’t discuss it on the blog.

    In SCUM’s case, my determination, after consideration, was that she is not a sufficiently advanced blamer; her racist outburst was disruptive, and, well, racist. She has in fact revealed herself on more than one occasion to possess an unsophisticated grasp of the issues. Prior to her most recent remarks, for example, she once seriously advocated that all military wives murder their husbands to keep them from going to Iraq.

    Disinviting SCUM is not a matter, as someone suggested, of “punishment”; it may have seemed punitive in tone since I made the mistake of publicly announcing it in a comment, but the goal, as I keep trying to explain to no apparent avail, is to remove all obstacles to the enbiggenment of the discourse.

    The blog is a work in progress. Nobody was more surprised than I was when people actually started reading it. But now that a sort of group has coagulated around it, I have this nutty idea that I should try to make it all mean something. I’m still in the process of figuring out how to do that.

  60. LouisaMayAlcott


    I apologize. Yes, my reaction was unfair.

    Thank you for giving me more context around SCUM’s having posted here before. I didn’t remember seeing her here, and imagined that the post in question was her first.

    I know I’ve seen you cut women slack again and again and again. And also men, in equal measures.

    It was an unfortunate coincidence, in terms of my reaction, that your banning of SCUM came so quickly after the lengthy discussion of Mandos.

    I saw the sequence of events that I have seen so often in my life: female(s) reluctant to direct blame towards (familiar) male(s), while tearing a strip off female(s) quickly to assure male(s) of where their true loyalties lie. My mother did it to me again and again.

    It makes no sense whatsoever that I would expect this of you. This is totally uncharacteristic of you. And yet, on the irrational, emotional level I just immediately associated with my remembered experiences of my mother – who, on a “cognitive” level always proclaimed loyalty to me as her daughter.

    Wow, this is a lesson.

    I realize now that I will never, never trust another female not to turn on me, and, as I once heard a woman put it, “boil my bones to make soup for her sons”.

    This says *nothing* about you (or any other woman), but *everything* about me.

    Again, my apology.


  61. delphyne

    “If you are concerned, Delphyne, that the boom of doom will fall unfairly in the future, I can only regret whatever caused your opinion of my sense of reason and decency to plummet.”

    I didn’t think it fell unfairly as her remarks were blatantly homophobic and racist, it was just noticeable that Mandos got a referendum and SCUM didn’t.

    Mandos was here to disrupt, not to learn or contribute. His actions proved that pretty clearly. He also seemed to take great delight in throwing the fact that you hadn’t banned him back in the faces of women who objected to his sexist presence. SCUM’s remarks were disruptive (and unacceptable) but I don’t think that was her aim in being here. Which is why I was talking about second chances in that maybe there was a possiblity that she could come to understand why what she said was wrong, and not feminist.

    I don’t think you are unreasonable, after all this is your personal blog. I think the problem is that for some of us it is also “our space” because it is a site of radical feminism and that may cause a conflict. I’m doing my best not to think of it as “our space” but I have fallen down recently with the Mandos thing.

  62. Twisty

    No harm done, LouisaMay. And may I say that something about that boiled bones thing makes me think of Titus Andronicus.

  63. Twisty

    Mandos got a referendum in part because he’s been posting here for years, and in part to usher in amid some spectacle a rethinking of the I Blame the Patriarchy blogifesto. I say this specifically with respect to the unexpected phenomenon of the blog having become something beyond my own exclusive sovereign nation. These are uncharted waters, Delphyne. It may turn out that I am unsuited to moderating this thing. Let’s see what happens next.

  64. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    When you get into the real hardcore feminist theory stuff, I usually just shut up, read, and try to learn, because the most I’ve studied was a little elective course back in high school and beyond my own experience, I’m unqualified to comment. It’s kinda like visiting Paris and being afraid to open your mouth with your high school French, you know?

    Food, dogs, public restrooms and birds are different. I know from those.

  65. Pony

    I can attest, personally, that Twisty gives second (or in some cases, eleventeen, chances.) Back to Lurkville.

  66. Laura

    Maybe if SCUM had been receptive to being called out, rather thn continuing to reiterate her position on “Arab countries,” it would have been different.

    You can’t even use the feeble “I said something homophobic in the heat of the moment even thought I totally don’t have a homophobic thought lurking in my head, I swear,” defense when you make a racist comment on a blog and then continue to argue that it’s justified.

  67. jerry

    I have to say that was the kindest banning notice I have ever seen. I still suspect it was unwarranted and counterproductive, but I have certainly never been graced with such a kind banning notice.

  68. Catherine Martell

    I’m sure no one’s reading this any more, but I wrote my impassioned attack on S.C.U.M. more or less as I was running out for a weekend away, and it looks like there are a couple of things I need to clear up.

    Yes, “seemingly violent” was in quotemarks because it was a quote. There is no doubt that the principal dude in the story comes across like an asshole. I did notice, though, that the story contains a stated presumption of violence with relation to the Pakistani fashion designer, which I felt was based in the teller’s prejudices about “Arabs” rather than any clear action by this man. If a white man had spent all evening being a moron about her feminism, would she have presumed that he would be likely to rape and kill her friend? The guy sounded like an asshole, but there is no statement in the story that he was physically violent – only that he seemed like he might become so.

    I also think the defences of S.C.U.M. above on the basis of her “just relating a story”, or “not being nice enough”, are asinine, though a couple of them have been withdrawn. Comparing her to Mandos is exactly the point. Mandos was an irritant. His attitudes sometimes betrayed an innate sexism, but I don’t recall any occasion on which he avowed such sentiments openly. S.C.U.M. was openly racist and homophobic, and continued to defend her prejudices after they were first pointed out. She was probably a troll too, if you ask me. I had visions, reading her post, of someone thinking “Let’s see if feminists actually give a shit about anyone other than themselves.” So she tells a vague and off-topic story about a man being an ass, and lards it heavily with deeply offensive comments about race and sexuality. And, indeed, it would appear that some people are prepared to give another woman a “get out of jail free” card, whatever she does or thinks, if she can point to a man having been rude to her first. I’m not. I don’t for a second think that the man in this story is in the right, but I do think S.C.U.M. managed to put herself fair and square in the wrong alongside him.

    And, finally, I actually guiltily agree with Twisty about the patriarchal language of the smackdown, the use of shame as a weapon of defence, and the complaints I made about the reactions of other commenters here. Particularly my singling out of RadFemHedonist and Twisty, both of whom had at least said something. Points all taken. I wrote my response very fast and very angrily, and some of my language was insufficiently considered. I’m constantly in delighted wonder at this blog and its commentariat, and it was a horrible moment when I read S.C.U.M.’s comments and the initial lack of response; like a previously enjoyable party where someone unexpectedly launches into a racist, homophobic or misogynist diatribe and everyone just stands around looking embarrassed, too polite to intervene.

    Now I’m a bit calmer, I don’t really think the blame-pile is the way this sort of thing should be dealt with, either. I’m sorry for implying that it might be.

    Thanks, various people above, for your support. I’ll go back to being mostly flippant now.

  69. Virago

    CM, I’m glad you came back to respond to this, and, as I said before, I’m glad you logged your offense at S.C.U.M.’s racist and homophobic story.

    I don’t think S.C.U.M. was a troll. Though I was not really familiar with her, Twisty suggests that she was a blamer. And for what it’s worth, no, I don’t think that story could be written by a trolling man because men don’t have that level of understanding about the mixture of fear and anger that many women face in the situation that S.C.U.M. describes.

    I’m certainly not defending S.C.U.M.’s racism and homophobia, but when explaining away your dropping the shame bomb on other women who didn’t speak up, you might consider a few of the contributing factors to silence, one of which is the fact that many women don’t actually yet know how to speak up when faced with these things. They just don’t have the practice, so the words don’t offer themselves as quickly as they do to someone who does know how to do it. And many women who do get to the point of speaking up/out have done so at an enormous cost to themselves (having to overcome the societal pressures on women to always back down). They also face the constant threat (not here, but in nonternet life)of censure and ridicule for speaking up. (In fact, in this case, women faced that censure and ridicule for not speaking up, which is just more of the same.) It’s not merely politeness or the desire to give other women the benefit of the doubt that holds tongues.

    Again, you are a brave blamer, and I respect you for it. Other women too are coming along on the path to blaming at a pace that is commensurate with their lives.

  70. therealUK

    It’s not merely politeness or the desire to give other women the benefit of the doubt that holds tongues.

    Indeed, and I think it it very important to bear this in mind, plus the fact that most people don’t comment on most things anyway.

    Not commenting is absolutely NOT the same as agreeing or supporting.

    I read loads of thing I don’t agree with, on feminist blogs, stuff that runs from very basic cluelessness and the ridiculous to the outright offensively and ignorantly bigotted.

    I comment on a fraction of it.

    Not because I’m shy or worried of argument, as it happens I’m quite happy to stick my oar in, mostly it’s just the time. This morning I have some time so this is my second comment here, then I’ll have a quick browse elsewhere but probably no more comments. Sometimes it’s that I just don’t have the energy – it takes effort to be constantly going over and over stuff, and mostly I prefer to put together a response that is reasonably well thought-out and coherent. That’s my preference, though I do make shorter comments as well.

    Other people may not comment because they are shy – fair enough, or for whatever reason, but again lack of individual comment cannot be taken as proof of agreement, or that we’re all closet racists.

    Because this brings us to another point, that in a community like this, we should be able to rely on the fact as a given that the ethos is anti-racist/homophobic/ whatever, and that there are people here who at any point in time are in able to speak out and challenge those views or other such ignorance if it does arise. We should not be demanding that people speak out to “prove” their anti-racism or to simply defend ourselves against future possible charges of whatever-phobia.

    This is also not about letting someone else do it, it’s about thinking “do I have something useful to add here?”, and “am I able to add it at this point ?” , while knowing that there will be back-up because there are many many people here who will comment if necessary.

  71. JanetRice

    Sorry guys, but ultimately it seems that women should be allowed to be well, not always “nice.” I read SCUM’s post and frankly, it was honest, ugly and very real. Things happen that are not pretty out there in real world land. I don’t think being attacked again here by other women is what we should be encouraging in this space. It seems cruel and judgemental. Women are not always “good” or respond as the gentile feminists we want them too. if a woman can’t post her experience, however ugly it may be, here, and feel safe doing it, then what are we actually doing? Is this all just an exercise in who’s the smartest? Who’s the most popular blamer?

  72. justicewalks

    Shorter JanetRice: Why isn’t it OK for white women to be homophobic racists in the name of feminism?

    My answer: Feminism doesn’t need homophobic racists for allies. Compulsory heterosexuality and racism are counterproductive to feminism’s aims, you see, because not all feminists are straight and white (some of them are “Pakistani faggots,” even; go figure)

  73. Catherine Martell

    therealUK and Virago: yes, I agree. I’ve backed down on the points of wagging my blame finger at other commenters, and apologise. Heat of the moment stuff. Now feeling less judgy. Everyone responds at own pace, and no one has to shout. All lovely. Feminist hugs all round if anyone wants them.

    JanetRice: what justicewalks says, and furthermore: it’s not a question of being “nice” or “not nice”. If S.C.U.M. had said “Fuck you, you misogynist arsehole” to this man, I would have no problem with her lack of politesse. I’d have applauded it. But being racist and homophobic does not equate to “not nice”, it equates to “downright offensive and unacceptable”. There’s a difference.

    It has nothing to do with smartness or popularity at all. It has to do with being a passably decent human being and treating others as such. Attack opinions, by all means, but not race/sex/gender/sexuality/disability/etc. What you think is fair game; what you are is not.

    I overstepped the mark by having a go at other commenters for not responding quickly enough, and I admit this and apologise. But I don’t agree that it qualifies as “cruel and judgemental” to attack openly expressed racism and homophobia. You can rest assured that if the polarity of the story was reversed, and it was about a Pakistani man who responded to a radical feminist’s goading with a misogynist and homophobic outburst, I would be just as angry with him. Would you defend him?

  74. Amananta

    I am late to the parade as usual, but after two or three nitpicky comments of his on my blog, and being aware of how he drags on relentlessly (but oh-so-politely!) on other blogs, I asked him to leave. To his credit, he did, only posting one passive aggressive comment in leaving and never returning so far as I could tell. Of course I have now closed my blog to all comments, damned censor that I am. Oh, my beautiful little blog space where I can tell the world to go to hell and they can’t yell back!

  75. Mandos


    … … … <- ellipsis of ellipsises

  76. Pinko Punko

    Blow out the candle and eat your cupcake. Two years? It seems like yesterday.

    And superfluous exclamation points. You are rebelling. Next you’ll be smoking cloves and sneaking out late. Sad.

  77. sylvie

    Fuck can be funny.

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