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tigtog (aka Viv) is the founder of this blog. She lives in Sydney, Australia: husband, 2 kids, cat, house, garden, just enough wine-racks and (sigh) far too few bookshelves.

This author has written 3411 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about tigtog »

55 responses to “On avoiding pile-ons”

  1. lauredhel

    Yup. I’d be happy with this so long as it’s more a guideline than a rule (which I think you’re suggesting), just because I can see the odd edge case. For example, if Alan’s comment made a number of points some of which were not addressed at all by Cathy or Betty, it might be appropriate in some circumstances for a fourth commenter to have a look at that unaddressed point.

    Exceptions to the consecutive-comments thing could apply similarly – you’ve mentioned a brevity exception, which could apply to clarification comments. The times I comment consecutively are usually when I’ve started a thread and want to reply to multiple commenters, without muddling up the replies in one long comment.

    I also see potential exceptions to the Three Comments rule, generally when a commenter has explicitly ignored a specific moderator request; sometimes I allow through an egregious comment that might be otherwise deleted, just to let others have a bit of a go at it. (eta: rethinking that, in the first case it’s usually just me saying something like “stop; don’t do that; follow the rules or go away”, which isn’t exactly ‘flaming’!)

    But they’re exceptions and edge cases and refinements, which is par for the course, and they don’t negate the meat of the idea at all.

  2. sqbr

    One of the reasons I don’t comment much here (or in any other blog or forum) is the lack of threading, it means that if you want to follow one aspect of the conversation you have to follow ALL of it, and if there’s a derail it brings everyone along with it. I’ve become spoiled by lj :) So I don’t feel able to comment with much authority on how to improve things.

    But I like the general idea of these rules. I think the “no more than three comments” thing might be a problem if there are more than three different relevant responses people make, especially if they’re responding to separate parts of the comment. But it does get annoying when someone says something dumb and I have to wade through a bunch of identical comments explaining how dumb it is.

  3. Ariane

    I’d suggest the two consecutive responses clause be modified by “saying the same thing”. Person A says “My response is XY&Z”, it might be reasonable for person B to say “What A said” to show that A isn’t alone in this, but that’s plenty. If someone else’s response is “PQ&R”, then it’s probably reasonable that they get to say so, otherwise your discussions are limited to 2 or 3 viewpoints.

  4. tigtog

    @sqbr,

    WordPress now supports threaded comments, I’m just looking into styling them to my satisfaction. As Lauredhel says, for Hoyden these will be adapted more as guidelines than as such rigid rules, but it’s important to thrash out the parameters of the guidelines.

    @Ariane good points, and again ones which fall into guidelines vs rules.

    My other concern is that I certainly don’t want the injunctions against the idea of a pile-on to mean that people who are being marginalised don’t feel able to express their hurt/anger at the situation. That wouldn’t be fair at all. Which is another reason for people who are allies rather than directly affected to hold back and leave a space for those who are more directly affected to make a response.

  5. tigtog

    Although allies holding back can be problematic too.

  6. Lauredhel

    Which is another reason for people who are allies rather than directly affected to hold back and leave a space for those who are more directly affected to make a response.

    I have reservations about this that feed back into your previous point. Safer space includes both allies and people directly marginalised/affected working together. I worry that this could disproportionately place a burden on the people directly affected to speak up in an environment where they may not feel supported because others are constrained from expressing their support.

  7. tigtog

    Yes, I was unhappy with my final sentence too, but your response teases out the reasons why better.

    There’s a balance to be struck, and it may come down to sticking one sentence in the Comments Policy about avoiding pile-ons with a link back to this thread. So the more contributions the better, especially from those most likely to want to express anger and hurt in marginalising situations. I feel that with too many other challenges sometimes the voices of the personally aggrieved get lost in the noise and are thus more likely to be overlooked in the ensuing dialogue, but am I right about that?

  8. Mary

    This is more of a technical thing, but is there a plugin or similar that can indicate whether new comments have appeared since the page was loaded? I think what sometimes happens with pile-ons is that Alan posts something problematic, and Betty, Cathy, Dana, Erica and Fran all see Alan’s comment, start typing their replies simultaneously and hit ‘Submit’ without any awareness of the other four comments also about to land. So it might be useful to be able to somehow check for more comments.

  9. Beppie

    I think that sounds pretty good.

    The other thing that it’s always helpful to remember is that if you do accidentally post at the same time as someone else, resulting in an unintentional pile-on effect, simply making another response to the effect of “posted simultaneously with X, no pile-on intended” can do a world of good (obviously this would be one exception to the “don’t post twice in a row” guideline).

  10. Mary

    Beppie, I have a feeling we just cross-posted in exactly the manner we’re both warning about… not in a pile-on thread though.

  11. Beppie

    (For instance, I just posted at the same time as Mary, making the same point. ;))

  12. tigtog

    @Mary, and @Beppie

    I don’t know of any plugin that does that, but there is a plugin which allows registered commentors to edit a comment for 5 minutes after it’s posted. That could be useful – people can post, see that they’re the 4th or 5th to make a similar point, and edit the comment to say, “oops, I x-posted with Dana, Erica and Fran and was only agreeing with Betty anyway”

  13. tigtog

    Beppie and Mary – and then you went and crossposted in exactly the same way again! Great illustration – wish I’d planned it :)

  14. Chally

    Um. I was going to comment on the Mary and Beppie cross-posting, but I refreshed first and now am glad I did as tigtog has already addressed it! :) Funny Internet.

  15. Ariane

    This may turn into the canonical thread on serendipity. :)

  16. tigtog

    Funny indeed, Chally!

    What do we think of the idea that initial ally responses to unacceptable content in a comment should perhaps be simple and terse, quoting the unacceptable portion and saying clearly something like “this is unacceptable because it marginalises X , please apologise and then rephrase your argument acceptably” with a link to our Comments Policy?

    Dissenting arguments are not so simple to deal with as pure unacceptable language/terminology issues, but I think the above would at least be in the desired ballpark.

  17. Jennifer

    @tigtog: I think lauredhel has teased it out well, but yeah, my main concern with the ‘leave space for the folks being marginalised’ is that leaving it to the marginalised to mention marginalising language/behaviour gets really tiresome because we/they are often the folks who have to do it all the freakin’ time.

    Also

    I feel that with too many other challenges sometimes the voices of the personally aggrieved get lost in the noise and are thus more likely to be overlooked in the ensuing dialogue, but am I right about that?

    To be brutally honest, I think that’s a pretty generous reading of how it usually goes. In my experience, folks being challenged will, when faced with the prospect of someone who is directly impacted, will avoid them and engage with an ally for reason like (not an exhaustive list, but the main ways I’ve experienced it):
    a) they generally feel can shout them down more easily (the “you’re not X, you’re just being PC/wevs” argument) or
    b) they don’t have to engage with the ‘scary’ non-white person/indigenous person/poc/pwd/etc. And maybe that’s on overly ungenerous reading, but, *shrug* that’s how I often experience it.

    Generally, I think the guidelines are good. That said, this post actually makes me uncomfortable because whilst you’ve obviously thought quite a bit about it, it’s feeling rather like prematurely accepting the premise.

    And I’m going to own up to the fact that my bias in the discussion is pretty heavily against some of the particular folks saying they felt unsafe, precisely because those exact folks have often been the reason I’ve just run a mile from certain threads here because they’ve been dismissive and marginalising and yeah, I’ve felt unsafe. And the only thing that’s kept me even lurking has been that the Hoyden commentariat has a great collection of allies who call people out on shit. Because ultimately, I have to call shit out in my daily life with people I have to face every day irl. A lot of the time, I just don’t have enough energy to call out privileged shenanigans on the internet, because I’ve already reached the threshold where I want to crawl into my wardrobe and live there for a while until the fail dies down a bit. Which is why spaces like Hoyden are pretty important to me. *shrug* I dunno. It feels like handing something over, somehow. Perhaps I’m still feeling rather defensive and need to sit on this a bit more. *goes off to do that*

  18. Lauredhel

    Jennifer: Thanks for your comment. What you describe is pretty much exactly how I feel calling out stuff about disability, and you’re not coming across as defensive or inappropriately ungenerous to me. And when the whole experience of my disability includes exhaustion and each action and engagement takes a particular toll, I really REALLY appreciate it when allies get in on the act.

    editing to add: this is, perhaps, where we might come down to an issue of a guideline that may look even-handed at first glance, and isn’t technically one-sided in the way it’s worded, but has the potential, if not very carefully implemented (and perhaps even then) to adversely affect one part of the population more than another. That’s a big potential pitfall, and not one to take lightly. I don’t want to start threads where people whose voices are marginalised almost everywhere else feel they’re expected to stop themselves from talking, expressing hurt, or defending themselves; or are told to watch their tone. This sort of thing can risk silencing marginalised voices while letting those dominant groups continue to pull whatever they were pulling in the first place, because they don’t think it applies to them. I’m not sure whether the solution to that is ultra-careful implementation, or something else; right now I’m just tossing ideas around.

  19. bluemilk.wordpress.com/

    I think this is an excellent idea. I find the ‘pile-on’ a pretty disturbing and repulsive aspect to internet behaviour.

  20. tigtog

    Back again after Friday night family adventures :)

    Jennifer, thanks very much for your input. I do understand very much that not everybody accepts the premise that we do actually pile-on here, and I’m not fully on board with it myself (despite accepting that a crew of Hoydenizens in full spate could definitely be a disconcerting experience, that doesn’t mean that a pile-on is necessarily occurring). I am however aware that even the perception that we pile-on here is a very easy way for others to dismiss arguments that are made here, and I’m also of the opinion that semi-regular discussions of netiquette are never a waste of time. Netiquette greases the axles that carry discussions forward.

    To be absolutely clear: if it comes down to the wire of whether this is a safer space for marginalised voices to express hurt, outrage and anger or a space where marginalised voices are silenced just like nearly everywhere else, then I do come down on the side of the marginalised voices. As Lauredhel says above, guidelines that look even-handed in principle can lead to unequally experienced adverse affects, and I’m keenly aware of that. However, I’m also aware that as we grow as a community, there’s going to be conflict arising not just from interactions with mainstream voices but also between different marginalised voices, so I think this is a good time to have a discussion that sets some guidelines for handling these conflicts, or which at least raises a variety of points that should be kept to the front of everybody’s mind.

  21. tigtog

    Ack, rereading that: late at night and after a few wines, my phrasing becomes rather pompous. Sorry about that.

  22. Jennifer

    Incidentally, this post from Liss at Shakes is interestingly timely re: ally v. marginalised folks calling people out for stuff.

  23. tigtog

    Thanks for the link, Jennifer. Agreed, very timely.

    Again on the balancing act – I know that there have been times when I have been in such vociferous ally mode that I have been one of the voices talking over the top of the marginalised voice, too busy placing my own interpretation front and centre to leave space for them to present their own experience so that it can be seen/heard. While I’m sure it’s better to know that someone else is in your corner/has your back than not, it must equally be frustrating to have an ally talking over the top of you as well, even if it is in a supportive way.

    This was the intent of my suggestion that allies calling out unacceptable comments should do so very tersely, keeping it simple and short.

    But have I got entirely the wrong end of the stick? is it easier for marginalised folks to be terse and have allies be the ones displaying the passionate outrage? is it too exhausting for the marginalised to be the ones expected to prove their pain by opening up with personal details yet again? Am I overthinking this way too much and suggesting guidelines that will inhibit individual variations in responses too rigidly?

    In other news, commentors can now edit their comments for five minutes after posting. This allows time to refresh the page and see what other comments came in while one was composing. One’s own comment can then be adjusted accordingly.

    e.g. testing edit comments function right here in this sentence!

  24. su

    Do you have a list of unacceptable language? When it is a matter of a commenter using marginalising language then I think it makes the balance a little easier to achieve. Just directing them to the list and saying that in the interests of maintaining this as a safe space all commenters must agree not to use those terms should avoid the need for a long discussion. If you wanted to host a discussion thread on why certain terms are in the list (at Feminism 101 perhaps – you may already have a post there, sorry I haven’t visited in a while :) ) then you could direct any argumentativeness on terminology off-thread. Marginalising approaches to a topic are a little more difficult to deal with I suppose

    Mary posted a link at Geek Feminism to Anna Martelli Ravenscroft’s response to Liss’s “Terrible Bargain” post which brings out how extraordinarily difficult is to do intersectionality. I’m afraid I don’t have any solution other than to split threads so that people who need to express their anger can do so without being subjected to people questioning the reality of their experience while people who actually genuinely need to be engaged with in a very rational and literal way are also accomodated. Intersectionality is freaking difficult and I think it is a testament to the Hoydens that it is done so well here.

    I just want to say that an anti-pile on policy is an expansion of the safe space concept IMO. For someone who has brought the snark more than once herself this may sound rather hypocritical but I feel queasy when I perceive a conversation to have slipped into pile-on territory. I think this could easily be triggering (not for me – I don’t have PTSD and I manage the queasiness by avoiding the thread) for someone with personal experience of abuse, serious bullying or domestic violence.

    Sorry for the long comment but I just want to thank Lauredhel and Jennifer for their insight because I worry that I may go overboard as an ally and end up “speaking for” PWD (thinking of the “No conversation about us, without us” principle)but my assumption has always been that having to constantly defend onesself is exhausting and so have waded in, claymore in hand, hoping that I will be told to stand down if my intercession is not wanted.

  25. tigtog

    @su,

    I have some reluctance to have an official list – it leads to vexatious types responding with “well, it isn’t on the list” instead of examining the concept of marginalisation as unacceptable no matter what words are actually used. I seem to remember a few classic posts in the last year or two that address how marginalising language/behaviours work and how they should be challenged most effectively, so I should go and find those and post the link set somewhere prominent, and yes, probably at FF101 as well.

    I hear you on the split threads idea, and perhaps it could work in a technical theoretical sense, although once again it’s dragging the marginalised away from the centre so that the non-marginalised can talk about them without them, which as your later phrase indicates is another problem .

    I just want to say that an anti-pile on policy is an expansion of the safe space concept IMO.

    That is the aspect of it which most attracts me, yes. Just working out how to make the space safer without making it also silencing of the people that it’s meant to nurture.

  26. Liam

    Without wanting to contribute to your site’s policy debate;

    commentors can now edit their comments for five minutes after posting

    …this function is exceedingly fucking cool, you deserve congratulations for trialling it and more blogs/forums should take it on.

  27. tigtog

    cheers, Liam

    I think it is pretty cool too. The chance to edit afterwards could well be the major component that’s needed to avoid too many comments making the same challenge.

  28. Zoe

    Particularly if I can work out how to use it ;) I think avoiding pile-ons, and the appearance of pile-ons, is very important and I salute the way you’ve started this discussion, tigtog.

    In situations where a further commenter might be perceived as piling on, but feels they are addressing a new aspect of an original comment, perhaps they should indicate what aspect of the original comment they’re speaking to. Hopefully in a more elegant and focussed way than in this comment.

  29. shinynewcoin.wordpress.com/

    I think this is a good commonsense suggestion.

    Just on threaded comments, I actually find that really distracting in LJ and it’s one of the reasons I don’t tend to read a lot of LJ blogs. I hope if it is introduced here I don’t have the same experience. I don’t comment often, but I usually do read the comments and enjoy the discussion. Just my two cents.

  30. tigtog

    WordPress threading isn’t like LJ threading, @shinynewcoin. The responses to an original comment nest under it, but there’s no closing of the nested comments when you’re looking at the page as a whole.

    It’s something I’d like to try and see if it improves discussion for people, or whether they’d rather go back to purely linear comments. But not right now.

  31. shinynewcoin.wordpress.com/

    Oh, that’d probably be good Tigtog, it’s the closed nested comments that annoy me.

  32. Helen

    Just on threaded comments, I actually find that really distracting in LJ and it’s one of the reasons I don’t tend to read a lot of LJ blogs. I hope if it is introduced here I don’t have the same experience. I don’t comment often, but I usually do read the comments and enjoy the discussion. Just my two cents.

    Yes, it’s like PC versus Mac – The developer who comes up with a comment system that satisfies ppl who like threaded versus the others will be famous! (Unthreaded, me – is it like being a boy – “are you circumcised or uncircumcised?”)

  33. sqbr

    It never occurred to me that some people might strongly prefer an unthreaded conversation, but I can (dimly :)) imagine how it might be preferable. Still, the comment editing should be useful for everyone.

    EDIT: Though the little timer counting down how long I have to edit is kind of intimidating :)

  34. Daran

    Thanks for linking to our blog. As its owner, I approved the policy (though I’m not the author of it. Credit for the idea goes to my coblogger, ballgame) I also moderate according to it, so I have some relevant experience here.

    You should realise is that this is only part of the moderation policy at FCB, which has been constructed in order to realise some quite specific goals, namely that we want to encourage feminists (an outgroup) to engage with us in the comments, and we to ensure that it is the bloggers, not the guests who are seen to be the “voice” of the blog. (There’s no danger that feminist guests will be viewed in this way. The problem for us is that various oppositional views which we do not share are often incorrectly seen as what we are about.) To the extent that your blog does not share these goals, I would not expect that a moderation policy tailored to our needs would meet yours.

    It is not clear to me what you mean by a “pile-on”. What I’ve experienced myself, when commenting in feminist spaces, and which we’re trying with limited success to suppress somewhat on FCB, might be called a simple pile-on – a large number of follow-on comments expressing disagreement. Personally speaking, I have not the slightest problem with fielding twenty or even a-hundred-and-twenty reactions to a comment or post I’ve made, and in my experience, this is more a problem for the blog I’m commenting on than it is for me, as it is likely to be parsed as a derail, or at least a disruption of the usual tone of the place.

    Another type is the abusive pile-on – where the above degenerates into outright vilification. I’ve experienced that too a few times on feminist blogs, just as I’ve seen it directed at feminists in MRA spaces. It’s inevitable in any group that some people will be less restrained than others, but it’s my belief, and also my experience on FCB, that it is the moderators who have the ability to shape the culture of a place. If there are clear policies against abuse which include that directed at dissenters, and if those policies are enforced consistently, then things rarely if ever degenerate to such an extent, even during periods where the moderators are not there. On the other hand, if the moderators employ double-standards, or worse join in or cheer-lead the abuse, then such attacks become inevitable. There is of course a continuum between these two extremes.

    (I should add that I’ve not paid much attention to HAT, and haven’t to my recollection commented here, so have no view on how these observation apply here. I have interacted with tigtog a couple of times on FF101, and found her always to be courteous and reasonable.)

  35. Daran

    tigtog:

    …while I’ve concluded that while you are all marvellous as individuals, we can indeed in the aggregate overdo the challenges,

    That is also my experience of the commentariat at FCB.

    lauredhel:

    Yup. I’d be happy with this so long as it’s more a guideline than a rule (which I think you’re suggesting), just because I can see the odd edge case.

    Indeed the bloggers at FCB are explicitly permitted to exempt themselves from the posting restrictions. In practice, we probably have a better record of complying with them than guests do, out of a need to set an example. The obvious problem with making them a guideline than a rule for guests is that the people most likely to exempt themselves will be precisely the people you’d most prefer to comply with them.

    It is frustrating, no doubt about it, not to be permitted to comment, right now on an issue you feel strongly about.

  36. tigtog

    I have interacted with tigtog a couple of times on FF101, and found her always to be courteous and reasonable.

    Daran, I do try to behave thusly, but on occasion I do lose patience with people who are probably not actually malicious, and can be testy and sarcastic. You have always been courteous, however, so you haven’t felt the brunt of that.

    I do appreciate the distinction between the simple pile-ons of basic disagreement versus the abusive pile-ons that we have both seen sometimes occur. That’s a worthwhile distinction to keep in mind.

  37. orlando

    That’s a rather gorgeous picture, BTW.

  38. Linda Radfem

    That’s a great blog you have there, Daran. Mind if I link to it?

  39. Daran

    Thank you Linda, and of course you can link as you please. I’m astonished that you feel you need to ask permission.

  40. Lauredhel

    Never thought I’d see Linda Radfem keen to link to a blog critical of “gynocentric feminism”, by a bloke who instructs feminists to “man up”! Something I love about life is the way it always surprises me.

  41. Linda Radfem

    Oh I can’t wait to link to Daran’s blog! I’m particularly looking forward to blogging about the female privilege checklist, because it really opened my eyes. I just never thought that not being murdered was a privilege, until I read that. Up until that point I had stupidly thought of it as a right.

    I hear what you’re saying about life’s surprises, Lauredhel. I was really quite surprised to see that blog linked to, here at HAT.

  42. Manning Up (RP) | Feminist Critics

    [...] Lauredhel: [Feminist Critics is owned/written] by a bloke who instructs feminists to “man up”! [...]

  43. Daran

    Lauredhel (reordered for reply):

    Something I love about life is the way it always surprises me.

    Doesn’t it just? I took a quick gander at her blog just after I wrote the above, and was left thinking that maybe she was being sarcastic, or perhaps didn’t understood what our blog was about. But then I thought, let’s not be prejudiced. Perhaps she just appreciates good argumentation, even from ideological opponents.

    …a blog critical of “gynocentric feminism”, by a bloke who instructs feminists to “man up”!

    “Gynocentric” is ballgame’s term, not mine, which he uses because he identifies himself as a feminist. So he needs a term to refer to other feminists (i.e., you) who aren’t like him. “Gynocentric” is not a denigratory word. It just means that you centre women in your discourse. Do you not agree that you do this? (If you think that he’s not a feminist at all, then feel free to take that up with him rather than me.)

    What I meant by “manning up” is a bit to involved for a comment, so I wrote a post.

  44. Daran

    I just never thought that not being murdered was a privilege, until I read that. Up until that point I had stupidly thought of it as a right.

    You know what, Linda? I agree. I thought not being sexually harassed at work was a right, but no, feminists insist it is a privilege. Ditto not being beaten up by my partner, not being raped outside of prison, and so on.

    The construction of “privilege” to include rights that you have and others don’t has been defended by tigtog. I realise that you’re not tigtog, and you may disagree with her on this matter. But I’d appreciate it if you could adopt the same tone with me as you do with her.

    Please also bear in mind that one way to critique a concept is to accept it provisionally and demonstrate that it takes you to places its proponants do not agree with. It is in that light that we provisionally accept that rights can be privileges. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t thought about this, or don’t think that it is seriously problematic.

    On your own blog you said

    Always assume that anything I have said, no matter how unreasonable, bitchy or offensive it seems to you, has been the result of lengthy thought processes and careful consideration, and probably hinges on a point of view which I am passionate about…

    Please extend the same assumption to us.

  45. tigtog

    The construction of “privilege” to include rights that you have and others don’t has been defended by tigtog.

    To have one’s legal rights taken seriously by those around one is where the privilege comes in, Daran. Rights in the abstract mean very little if the people around one simply refuse to accept that such rights exist.

    I realise that you’re not tigtog, and you may disagree with her on this matter. But I’d appreciate it if you could adopt the same tone with me as you do with her.

    Be careful what you wish for, Daran. Perhaps you should read a bit more of her blog with regards to this blog.

  46. Mindy

    I’m particularly looking forward to blogging about the female privilege checklist, because it really opened my eyes.

    I look forward to reading your blog post with great anticipation Linda.

    ETA: Now that I’ve started reading the checklist (my goodness I never knew I was so privileged compared to men) my anticipation has increased tenfold.

  47. Hedgepig

    The idea that there are feminists who do not “centre women in [their] discourse” is like saying there are black rights activists who do not centre people of colour in their discourse.

  48. Rebekka

    I just went to have a look at Linda Radfem’s blog, since Tigtog sparked my curiosity with the comment “Perhaps you should read a bit more of her blog with regards to this blog.”

    Wow.

  49. Mindy

    There is a history between HAT and Linda, but if you can look past that I think she has some really challenging ideas (for this “mod?” fem at least) and a lovely way with words. I really am looking forward to her takedown of Daran’s work. That feminine privilege list (on Daran’s blog) was a doozy.

    ETA: I should point out that I haven’t personally been at the pointy end of any disagreements with Linda (to my knowledge) and I don’t feel ownership of HAT, though I do value the opportunity to guest post here. So my hackles don’t usually get raised by comments about HAT, although I will and do defend it. I completely understand that there are ongoing issues on both sides and respect that. I haven’t expressed myself very clearly here and I apologise for that. No offence is meant.

  50. Rebekka

    Right now, I’m having trouble getting past a lot of things she’s written. And not just where she called my blog “sanctimonious hate-mongering” and said the feminist blogosphere could do without me.

    That’s not to say there aren’t also things I agree with her about.

  51. Linda Radfem

    Thanks, Mindy. *S* I’m mentally composing my post regarding Daran’s work already, and I have to say, I’m all a’tingle with anticipation!

    But it’s gonna have to wait til end of semester. Stay tuned!

  52. Daran

    By the way there’s a relevant discussion currently taking place on Alas a Blog, starting here.

  53. Ampersand

    The idea that there are feminists who do not “centre women in [their] discourse” is like saying there are black rights activists who do not centre people of colour in their discourse.

    Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by “centre” and “feminist.” Michael Kimmel is a feminist, in my view, by most of his work is about men and masculinity.

    Is feminism exclusively about women in every way, or is it about changing all of society, women and men both? I’d say the latter. But I realize, of course, that not all feminists would agree.

    I’d also say that there are some anti-racist activists who have made whiteness — how it is constructed and maintained — the focus of their work.

  54. Lauredhel

    ampersand: Good-faith masculinity writers tend not to refer disparagingly to “gynocentric feminists” and spend much of their time criticising them. And their masculinity studies include a deep examination of the toxic effects that conventional masculinity has on the women of the world; so perhaps there’s a conversation to be had there about the “centre” as well.

    [to new Hoydenizens: for completeness, before you click through, we typically carry a warning and place a 'nofollow' tag on links to Ampersand's blog. We do this out of respect for feminists who have strong issues with the ownership of the blog and the offensive, racist porn reviews linked from every page there.]

  55. Linda Radfem

    Ampy, your view about who is or is not feminist is totally irrelevant to feminism.

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