A few changes prompted by real life

Okay, folks. As mentioned at the beginning of my last post, a few things are going to be changing around here:

Updates

First and foremost – posting frequency. After a few months of painful unemployment, I am again gainfully employed. However, my new job is going to leave me with a lot less time to do the research needed to put together quality posts. Rather than let this blog devolve into nothing but WTF roundups of miscellaneous crap, I’d prefer to keep a higher standard with a lower frequency of posts. By all means, I’m not going to slow down to one or two posts a month, but it’s hard for me to pin down how frequently I will be able to post until I’ve gotten accustomed to my new job.

From the outset, I didn’t want this blog to come at the expense of real-life concerns – which is why I mostly ignore things here on the weekends and have trouble keeping up with conversations that explode the way the DNF conversation has. I realize this will probably cost me traffic, and I know this might disappoint some of my more dedicated readers. However, I’m only one person and I do hope you can understand the amount of work that goes into posts like the one I just wrote. Those of you who feel like sticking around, thanks for your patience.

Comments

I have very much tried to take a “moral high road” approach when it comes to commenters here on my blog. I don’t want to be the sort of person who deletes comments from anybody who appears to disagree with them, because I think that ultimately harms what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to reach out to gamers, mostly (but not all) men, who don’t identify with feminism but who are open re-thinking attitudes that they hadn’t thought to question. Another important consideration is the fact that I, too, am far from perfect. Both are factors that initially made me decide not to delete posts by humans and instead tell people to ignore them. My change in employment status as well as a few emails from older commenters has made me re-think this of late.

The problem is that as much as I can ignore persistent trolls, they will always have someone to give them attention and I just don’t have the time to keep up with the inflated comment counts that result from this. It has also gotten to the point where I’m spending more energy ignoring persistent trolls than I am actually participating in discussions, which is tiring. I am not willing to stick to my ideals at the expense of my real life, because I’ve been down that road on the internet and I know where it leads. It leads to anger, frustration, and burnout and ultimately achieves nothing other than wasting time that could have been spent in more productive pursuits. So I’ve decided to come to a compromise.

I will continue to leave comment moderation turned off; comments will not have to sit in queue to be approved. Nor will I ban comments from commenters that have frequently disagreed with me and caused arguments in comment threads – as long as I judge that they are attempting to engage in genuine discussion. I don’t want to reinforce stereotypes about the feminist “hive mind”, and I certainly know that in plenty of cases on other sites that I have been “that jackass on the internet”.

Please know that I believe in reading charitably and that I will be extremely lenient in deciding if I think that people are trying to have a real conversation. Discussion on the internet is hampered by a lack of non-verbal social cues and often what seems like a disagreement is really just people talking past each other. I would rather have a very forgiving policy and have some aggravation than be very strict and have lots of drama. I used to do drama in the past; I’m done with it now.

Persistent trolls will be blocked from commenting on this blog.

For anyone wondering what qualifies as a troll, I will use this definition from Urban Dictionary as a guideline:

One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. ‘you’re nothing but a fanboy’ is a popular phrase) with no substance or relevence to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue.

As stated previously, I will be extremely lenient in judging whether I think people meet this criteria. Everyone has an Internet Crazy Button, even me, and some subjects just make people irrational. It’s cool. I get it. The most relevant factor in this determination is time. If over a period of weeks your comments read entirely out of Derailing for Dummies or the misogynist wing of the Men’s Rights movement and display absolutely no variation in rhetoric or attempt to engage in genuine discussion with other commenters, then I will judge you to fit this criteria and you will be blocked from commenting. (That said, I absolutely do not want to get requests from other commenters to the effect that I designate someone as a troll and block them from commenting. I mean it.)

In the end, my peace of mind has to come first if this blog is going to survive. If that makes me a freedom hating feminazi bitch, well, best of luck to you in your internet travels. God knows that there is no shortage of feminist gaming blogs for you to troll.

A copy of this will be added to the sidebar under the heading “comment policy”, with a link to this post in the “about” section.

tl;dr

Updates will be of lower and unpredictable frequency for the forseeable future. To those of you who have stuck with me this far, thanks for your forbearance. If you want more frequent feminist gaming blog stuff, I suggest checking out any of the links in my blogroll, especially the Border House (full disclosure: I sometimes cross-post there as a guest) and Geekfeminism.org.

Persistent trolls will be banned, however it will take dedication and perseverance to earn this designation. I am the final arbiter of who is and is not a troll. This is not a democracy; it is a benevolent dictatorship.

44 thoughts on “A few changes prompted by real life

  1. It’s not enough to cite a definition (that’s not even correct!). I do not recall seeing even one instance of a commenter here actually explaining why somebody is supposedly a troll. This is because they don’t understand what the word means, and just use it reflexively as a way to “win” an argument or divert attention away from it. In fact, this behavior is perfectly consistent with the (incorrect) definition of trolling you’re using. Oh, the irony.

    Words are defined by common consensus. Urban Dictionary and Wikipedia reflect the common consensus of the internet, hence they reflect the definition of the word whether you agree with them or not.

    And, in any case, you can’t expect us to make an argument that you’re a troll by your own standards if you won’t tell us what you think makes a troll. =P

    However, it’s very easy to explain why you’re a troll from everyone else’s standards:
    – You belittle anyone who disagrees with you rather than prove your case (“internally and logically inconsistent to the point where one has to wonder if the author is mentally challenged or was raised by wolves”)
    – You consistently use fallacious reasoning instead of proper arguments (“You are using the made-up threat of “trolls” as an excuse to censor opposing viewpoints while still maintaining the fiction that you’re all about freedom of expression” — that’s an Appeal to Motive right there)
    – You ignore every argument made by your opponents, then say they haven’t made any real points regardless of whether your own argument has been shredded or not, which makes you impossible to have a productive conversation with (I’ll give you examples of this from your inevitable reply).
    – You continuously add extra, unnecessary burdens as requirements for you to take the opposing side seriously (“I do not recall seeing even one instance of a commenter here actually explaining why somebody is supposedly a troll”) and then ignore your opponent’s position even if they do meet that unreasonable demand.
    – You constantly attempt to drag us down to your own level where you can beat us with experience (“Every comment can read entirely out of DfD”)

    Essentially, there is no content in your posts whatsoever that an unbiased observer would find useful. And that’s why Wundergeek is going to get rid of them — not because she believes they hurt her own position, but because she’s sick of having her blog polluted by the same tired old fallacies repeated a thousand times. Honestly, you should probably thank her — your arguments make your own side look bad.

  2. you are an idiot obviously doesn’t know the first thing about feminists (and doesn’t realize what function the logic of relevance has), but in any case, I think I somewhat agree with/understand zis statement, “There are no trolls here”. Of course, I don’t read all comments on all posts – but I read around 200 of them on the Duke Nukem Forever piece.

    The way I saw it, there were some defensive peoples who were persistent about their (rather tiresome) opinions (ie: DNF isn’t misogynist/it is but it’s OK/shouldn’t you whine about something else?/etc), using, obliviously it seems, irrational arguments based on ignorance. Does that equal trolling? Their cause didn’t appear to be “annoy”, but “defend”.

    • As I said in my post, I get that everyone has Internet Crazy Buttons. Being defensive about one particular subject isn’t the same as persistent and malicious trolling. Even those who only came to leave comments like “you must be a fag” are not *persistent* trolls if their trolling is limited to one or two comments.

    • Is calling WG an idiot right out the gate really the best way to start a conversation? Seems kind of counter-productive x.x

      • There was a poster calling himself “you are an idiot” (who was pretty much demonstrating “how not to post on this blog” which is probably why WG deleted the comment). Ikkin’s post below was a reaction to that.

        • I didn’t realize marking that comment as spam would screw up Ikkin’s comment… I’ll keep that in mind. (“you are an idiot” is the same person as An Onymous.)

          • Yeah, that’s a pretty weird glitch, I have to say.

            I’ll keep it in mind too, and not respond next time.

  3. Comments section under post about DNF became complelty unreadable imo so i agree that some steps should be taken.

  4. As somebody that quite vocally disagrees with some of the things you say here, I think you are making the right decision. I personally have no fear of being moderated. Mainly because I’m not a jerk, troll, or misogynist.

  5. Congrats on the gainful employment WG, I know the pain of unemployment and the insanity that lies down that road🙂

    I’d rather see quality on this site than quantity🙂

  6. I wouldn’t have blamed you if you went full scorched-earth after the past week, ha ha–I’ve seen other bloggers quit in a huff over less. It’s definitely your right to moderate your blog however you want.

  7. All of it sounds fine to me🙂

    And good luck with your new job, hope it works out awesomely. I’m with the above poster, better to have quality posts than quantity.

  8. My sister just got laid off the exact time you posted this. I always knew Conservation of Employment was missing from Physics texts.

    • Sorry to see hear that =/ but that 2nd part is so true! That’s why I switched my major to computer science

  9. Really, someone’s personal blog is never a democracy in the end. It’s their house, that’s what I like to think of it as. You can invite whoever you want in, leave the door open even, but when someone starts coming in just to track in crap or break stuff or can’t respect your boundaries then you can kick them out. I have been one of the prime offenders in feeding trolls and stooping down to their levels at times, so I’ll still need to keep working on that and try to approach conversations in a more productive way in the future.

    Good luck with the new job, WG!

    • “Really, someone’s personal blog is never a democracy in the end. ”

      This. So. Fucking. Much. One sentence just demonstrated a keener understanding of politics than my entire campus. You’ve got the best intuition I’ve ever seen.

  10. Don’t have much to add other than to say thanks for all the support, folks.

    (Sorry to hear about your sister, Sam. Unemployment is never fun.)

    • Well, these things are never entirely unexpected when you’re on the “drug fueled artist” career track like she is, but the synchronicity of it was downright eerie. (Some of my friends tried to get her a new job, but it turns out that the media is wrong: most employers and customers of sex workers do not, for simple reasons most should’ve intuited, like hiring junkies.)

      Still, being the optimist I am, I note that it’s almost impossible for whatever job you got to not better than whatever job she lost, so the people I like are, in aggregate, probably better off. Hooray for positive thinking.

  11. Congratulations on your job!😀

    Regarding moderation I’m with Lillith – if certain people don’t know how to behave then they can gtfo. There’s a difference between “disagreeing” and “being overly defensive up to the point where people think you are a troll”.

      • MAYBE. There are some issues where men are disadvantaged.

        HOWEVER, there are not so many of said issues that an organisation designed for the promotion of men needs to exist, and I’m immediately suspicious of any such organisation. Organisations that aid men on specific issues are fine, but “for the promotion of men” is not cool, imho.

        • Personally, I’m all for organisations of men that tackle the problems they face in society today. Inb4, patriarchy hurts men too. The real issue is that instead of actually questioning their roles in society that lead to those problems most MRAs resort to bawwwing over the evil feminists and how women ruin all their fun. /facepalm

          • Yeah, the one I can think of who has a reasonable case to make against feminists is Toy Soldiers, and he spends just as much time pointing out how fucked up regular people are.

            The rest of them though… never has the phrase “Slave Morality” fit anyone better, even the actual slaves that Nietzsche coined it to describe. It’s telling that TS up there has less of a victim Complex despite being an actual rape victim.

            • Blech. Even that Toy Soldier guy resorts to the tired old “feminists deny or deliberately distort the numbers of male victims of abuse” bullshit. Every men’s rights blog I’ve ever visited is packed to the brim with hateful propaganda. I find feminist blogs infinitely more welcoming and infinitely freer of manipulative rhetoric, despite being male.

              Maybe it’s because I’m also bi. There was a big movement among the far right parties in Britain’s previous general election to try to appeal to LGBTs. You know, telling us that they’re our last line of defence against the “imminent threat” of Islamification. Thankfully, most LGBTs realised that, after “non-white”, LGBT would probably be the next demographic to be targeted, along with women.

              And that’s exactly the vibe I get from MRM groups. I feel comfortable around feminists. I feel *included*. MRAs don’t seem to understand the first thing about equality and inclusivity. As someone already on the fringe of society I don’t find that reassuring.

              PS: No, none of the feminist blogs I visit deny or try to gloss over male victims of abuse. Some explicitly point it out. I’m sure every other feminist here has the same experience.

              • “PS: No, none of the feminist blogs I visit deny or try to gloss over male victims of abuse. Some explicitly point it out. I’m sure every other feminist here has the same experience.”

                On another site, I was recently told(by a feminist) that it was “good” that I was sexually harassed by a former employer, the logic being that unless I was abused, I would be an abuser. I was also told by another that it should “reaffirm my masculinity”.

                Believing that your “team”(whatever “team” that may be) is above flaw is VERY dangerous. Misandry does exist in the feminist community. It’s not as common as the Men’s Rights Movement would like you to believe, but it is there. Keep an eye out for it, because it will be more easily dealt with from the inside rather than the outside. The goal is equality and social justice. Sometimes people need to be reminded of that.

              • OUT51D3R:-

                Got a link to that site? I’d like to see what kind of place it is. I was being a bit simplistic with what I said before. My implication was that we’re all pretty normal people here, thus the feminist sites we’d go to would be representative of the non-radical majority of feminism. I do acknowledge that there are some real extremists out there. But, unlike with the MRM, that stuff is relegated to the fringes, rather than being centre stage.

                Also, I replied to myself ‘cos there wasn’t a reply button under your post. Maybe WordPress does that to stop long threads ending up like
                t
                h
                i
                s
                ?

              • Okay, so the people you read don’t have this problem. You have good taste. Cool. But have you actually read TS’s blog? If you did, you’d note that he not only quotes but actually actually links to the people he’s accusing of rape apologia. That one article where the woman said that it was good for men to be raped because it helps them understand what women go through, for example, wasn’t distorted or taken out of context, and it came from an explicitly feminist source. Now, if you’re going to go off on a “but real feminists aren’t like that!” or “they’re a small minority of our movement!” that’s fine, but you must 1) comprehensively define “real feminism” and 2) recall that the Tea Party uses the exact same arguments to prove that they’re totally not racist and explain how your argument is different.

                “And that’s exactly the vibe I get from MRM groups. I feel comfortable around feminists. I feel *included*. MRAs don’t seem to understand the first thing about equality and inclusivity. As someone already on the fringe of society I don’t find that reassuring.”

                Take a good look at the feelings that the dedicated activists and the academic feminists, AKA, the two central parts of any movement, have for transgendered people. And sex workers. And people of colour. And the religious. Feminism doesn’t even include every woman, for fuck’s sake, let alone men. There is simply no way for an ideology to benefit everyone, and people who don’t benefit have can and should leave for something else.

                Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate the vast majority of MRAs. But that’s only because they’re entirely reactionary. They built their entire movement against feminism instead of for anything. But this guy? Fuck, look at TS’s first page. None of the entries have a god damned thing to do with feminism. This guy deals mostly with male-rape issues, so he only cares about feminists when they’re being pro-rape. Is there any part of that that isn’t perfectly justified?

            • I wanted to reply to your last comment, but wordpress broke ~_~

              I’d agree with you personally. There are parts of feminism that are downright terrible and they have caused many people to bail out. Bitch magazine had an article (which I’m having trouble finding now) about many feminists of the past (and present) had some extremely problematic views (like some suffragettes used blatant racism as a platform, the horrible transphobia, etc)

              TS has every right to call these people out and criticize them for it, I would (and do). Probably why I read only a small selection of blogs now, the ones that do not engage or allow other isms at all.

              It’s so incredibly frustrating when a group you really identify with has so many within it reinforcing shit that is just not okay:/

              • Yeah, my closest friends and students are sex workers, and they’ve had it made quite clear to them that they would not exist in a feminist world. (Or a religious world. Or a conservative world. Or a liberal world. Or the police’s world. There’s a reason they’re libertarian to a person.)

                You don’t have to feel bad about this, though. The goals of any movement are not simply changing people’s minds. It’s easy to get fixated on that, because it’s the most aggravating part, but the ultimate goal of any movment is to gain power until it can dictate the rules of society.

                The ideal feminist society (well, ideal to the statistical majority of feminists, since “feminist,” being unable to either describe, define, or predict the actions of feminists, is a meaningless word) would not, for example, tolerate trans-gendered people because feminism holds that gender is a choice. A coerced choice, to be sure, but a choice none the less; this ideology being one that trans-gendered people invalidate by mere existence, and that science falsifies every time it takes an interest in trans folk. (Neuroscience demonstrates that trans[men/women] have a different brain structure than cis[women/men], for example.) Now, that’s just one sort of feminist pariah. There are more, but I have more contempt for feminists that try to doublethink around this than those that are capable of following their creed to its logical conclusions. The cultural feminists (who mostly go by the name of “radical feminists” these days) have my eternal respect for this.

                Do not think I’m attacking you or your movement as uniquely pernicious; I know that the libertarian society that would benefit my friends so much would be economic genocide to the lower classes. The thing is, to quote the subject of the other active topic on this blog right now :

                “It is not sad”, Radiant chided the lesser angel. “It is right. Every society must have its outcasts.”

                There is nothing you can do to that would wholly benefit the lives of every person. (penicillin didn’t, for fuck’s sake) You can only aid some, and those few are going to be your friends and comrades. This is just, and you should not feel ashamed of it.

                After all, what exactly are you planning to do with misogynists and sexist once you win? Give them hugs and kisses?

              • The ideal feminist society (well, ideal to the statistical majority of feminists, since “feminist,” being unable to either describe, define, or predict the actions of feminists, is a meaningless word) would not, for example, tolerate trans-gendered people because feminism holds that gender is a choice.

                Where are you pulling this from? Got any surveys to back it up? I’m well aware of the trans hate in certain feminist fringe circles, but these circles have always been nothing more than outdated extremists. The anti-trans attitudes of scumbags like Julie Bindel always seem to attract derision from the mainstream.

                There is nothing you can do to that would wholly benefit the lives of every person. (penicillin didn’t, for fuck’s sake) You can only aid some, and those few are going to be your friends and comrades. This is just, and you should not feel ashamed of it.

                After all, what exactly are you planning to do with misogynists and sexist once you win? Give them hugs and kisses?

                This isn’t a war. Equality hurts no-one. And the absence of privilege would hardly be a detriment in such a society.

              • Sam. Not all feminist are transphobic. I’ve put my foot in my mouth a few times, sure, but I am a feminist and I support trans people. If I make mistakes, it’s because I grew up in a conservative backwater and sometimes it shows, and I cop to my mistakes and apologize.

                I mean, Christ. Just because some feminists are transphobic does not mean that feminism hates trans people. That’s like saying that all men hate ice skaters because some men hate skating.

              • “Sam. Not all feminist are transphobic.”

                No, none of them are. Transphobia would be uncritical acceptance of social prejudices, and people that did that wouldn’t be feminists in the first place. What has happened is that the academics (whose job it is to think about these things) have concluded that transgenderism is incongruous with a feminist society and they have thus attacked transgenderism. It’s the same reason they attack sex workers and a similar reason underlies why they downplay concerns of racism in their movement (because the highest allegiance must be to sisterhood, not anything else, including one’s race).

                ” If I make mistakes, it’s because I grew up in a conservative backwater and sometimes it shows, and I cop to my mistakes and apologize.”

                Cool, but that’s irrelevant since anti-trans rhetoric is not a “mistake” in this context.

                “I mean, Christ. Just because some feminists are transphobic does not mean that feminism hates trans people.”

                I never said that feminism hates trans people. I said that trans people are against the strategic interests of gender-constructionist ideology, and that a majority of feminists hold to that position.

                ” That’s like saying that all men hate ice skaters because some men hate skating.”

                It is not in the strategic interest of men to oppose ice skating, so that’s a non sequitur.

                If it’s any consolation, I’m not calling you evil (since we’ve known ethics to be falsified since at least Ludwig Wittgenstein. We just pretend to keep it around because it’s the only thing pop-philosophers can write books on that actually interest people) or attacking you in any way. What you do will do with power will be a lot better than what almost everyone else will, including, it pains me to say, my Libertarian sex-working friends.

                And since further discussion would require me to explain what I meant by ‘Wittgenstein falsified ethics’ and go into political philosophy, something way the hell outside the target casual reader audience, I suggest we drop this, because I doubt we could meaningfully converse with each other beyond this point otherwise.

            • But have you actually read TS’s blog? If you did, you’d note that he not only quotes but actually actually links to the people he’s accusing of rape apologia.

              Went back for a double-check. Clicked on the latest article, “Woman drowns her children, the media makes excuses”. This sums it up:-

              Curiously, it has not occurred to any of those psychologists that perhaps Armstrong was the abuser or that she killed her children out of anger at their father. The only assumption the talking heads made is that Armstrong, a woman who drowned three children, is a victim.

              The guy is an absolute ass. His blog is not just about making sure men get more protection, it’s also a denouncement of the benefit of the doubt awarded to women. How much of a jaded asshole does someone have to be to say to themselves “this demographic has one good thing going for it that my demographic doesn’t – what an outrage! it must be stopped!”.

              Female male-rape apologists are most certainly scumbags, but this guy isn’t exactly a saint himself.

              • I’m not exactly sure what’s supposed to be wrong with the quoted passage. It seems to be an accurate summation.

                ““this demographic has one good thing going for it that my demographic doesn’t – what an outrage! it must be stopped!”.”

                Did it ever occur to you that having public sympathy for committing infanticide is not a “good thing?”

                And before you bring it up, whether or not the crime was actually committed is irrelevant. The media are saying that women murdering children is okay. It doesn’t matter whether or not she’s personally guilty, it’s that the media are assuming her guilt and still making excuses. That’s the problem.

              • I don’t care for TS or his blog. He has trolled numerous feminist sites, especially with his tendency to derail subjects that have nothing to do with the thing he’s talking about, and I have seen quite a few instances of this. I honestly do not care if he makes a good point once or twice, he has done nothing but gather a bad reputation for his actions in the past.

                And anyone who goes on a rant about how ‘male privilege doesn’t exist’ (oddly enough, this makes an excuse to free men from any responsibility of acknowledging it, imagine that) is immediately suspect in my eyes.

          • Oh I disagree, men’s right movement or any other men’s organization are abominations and should be treated as such. Misogyny aside, relaying on any men’s organization on helping tackling disadvantages men may face in our society is equal in putting big sign on your back “I’m loser, screw me over”. So called men’s solidarity is bullshit but I totally understand why often feminism treat is a real thing with women being so often on receiving end of it. It’s actually just power thing, women being discriminated against and having weaker position are picked as easy targets and are thrown to the wolves first. Remove women from the scene or put them in position of power and men’s solidarity vanishes like pipe dream. If man finds himself at disadvantage in such situation he would be walked over and end with face in the mud before he can finish sentence ”what about men’s solidarity ?”.

      • Well, the MGTOW guys are pretty agreeable, in that they’re essentially gender separatists, so we’ll never have to deal with them except for morbid curiosity. But god damn, they never stop whining about women even then. (Though, maybe lesbian separatists didn’t stop whining about men either. That was before the Internet, so we’ll never know)

      • Check out the Fathers 4 Justice group in the UK. It’s more of a Father’s rights group than a men’s rights group in general, but just wanted to point out that men do get discriminated against too, it just happens far less frequently than in the case of discrimination against women.

        • The guys that trolled Harriet Harman? Fuck yeah, they’re awesome, but you’re right that they aren’t exactly MRA, and we’re talking about MRAs, not debating whether men face discrimination. (Most of us have agreed on the latter point since airlines tried banning men from sitting next to unaccompanied children)

  12. Hey! I just found your blog, and oh my god I appreciate it. It so often feels like female gamers have no voice and I get so tired trying to defend myself as a female/for being female on gaming messageboards and the like. In forums, I too often let outrageously misogynistic statements go, let people assume I’m male just so I don’t have to deal with the inevitable shitstorm and harassment that follows. Your blog makes me want to stand up for myself and other women gamers more.

    I don’t really have anything to say about this post in particular; just that you’ve gained another follower. Thanks for writing!

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