Posted: April 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

‘Now, I’m not going to make QRG’s mistake and deduce from this that feminists are equivalent to sexist men in the way they behave (different order of thing and different order of magnitude), just that when she comes along to blogs and boards and drops her “feminists silence people too” bomb into the mix, the subsequent debate would seem to illustrate what she is talking about beautifully. I wish it wasn’t the case, and I’ve been pretty miserable to see how things have gone here, but it does seem to be something about the nature of online debate that some people feel they are guardians of what is or is not allowable to say, and anyone who doesn’t toe that line can be dismissed, with varying degrees of civility.’


  1. Matt Volatile says:


  2. Matt Volatile says:

    I like her.

  3. Tim says:

    Yeah, it is probably only a matter of time until ‘making a QRG’ becomes a vernacular expression and is entered into encyclopedias around the world 🙂

    What she said is right, I think. I don’t think that there is a part of feminisim that is inheretly evil and is secretly planning to take over the world nazi-style (which is a very ridiculous believe, I think). I’ rather say that what she is talking about is a side effect of safe spaces.

    The idea of sheltering people, for whom it would normally be very difficult or impossible to speak their mind without being shouted down or verbally attacked, from exactly this kind of behaviour is generally a good idea. In fact I think a space in which everybody is free to speak their mind is a very good idea.

    Now the problem is when blogs and safe spaces meet. The community on a blog usually suffers from a certain uniformity. Why ? Because blogs have 2 problems:

    – The first is that the majority of commenters agree with the bloggers (because otherwise they wouldn’t read the blog to begin with), which means that the comment section will usually be skewed towards the blogpost and the author and the general theme of the website.

    – Secondly, blog communities are usually small. Even more popular blogs, like pandagon for example, have maybe 50 or so regular commenters. That ain’t that much.

    So these communities are usually small circles of people with the same or very similar ideologies, ideas or opinions who discuss matters only internally and without much outside influence (aside from what the blogger provides of course), who believe to hold believes and opinions that are moderately liberal (or at least not on a fringe).

    They form some kind of microcosmos, in which the opinions of its inhabitants are considered the norm. That means if you enter a space with 100 anti-porn activist and you are the only pro-porn person, then you are a fringe element. And fringe elements can be threatening, because they question what the masses see as given.

    In other words, you become a threat to the main view of the blog community. Which is not per se, because challenging a world view or an opinion is a good thing, a thing on which society grows to become better. The problem occurs when a threat to the main view is interpreted as a threat to the people, because in a safe space, threats to the people are not tolerated and need to be suppressed.

    And this is a point where communities can turn into echo chambers, when threats to the main view and threats to the people are not correctly distinguished anymore.

    • Tim says:

      Also, I think I should totally avoid the phrase ‘I think’. I use it way too often.

      Dammit, I did it again. -.-

      • I think Tim, that people who use the term ‘I think’ a lot are my favourite kinds of people. Because a) they think and b) they don’t think their views represent an obvious or generalised ‘truth’


    • lots of food for thought there Tim. I will mull over all that!

    • mcduff says:

      That’s a pretty good summary of what happens in general with enclosed philosophical arenas. I don’t think it’s unique to blogging, I just think that blogging leaves a trail of the conversations that happen. If you had the conversation offline the only people who would see it would be the people in the room at the time. The internet does change how some people interact, but I think it’s most interesting when it provides a log of how they’ve always interacted.

      • Tim says:

        Hi mcduff !

        I think you are right ! Neither is feminism nor are online communities the only victims to this. The thing is that the internet is playing into this by allowing people to be more selective.

        Because on-line there are hundreds of different flavors of feminism (for example) available. In the real world, there is usually just one or two groups readily available whereas on the internet I can pick and choose a very specific flavor.

        I could, for example, fill my whole blogroll with blogs that claim that catholicizism is the only true religion and everyone else will be damned to hell and evolutionists are stupid anyway.

        Try that in the real world and you will be having a hard time to not be exposed to ‘dissent’.

  4. Gs says:

    Trolling, banning, etc. . . . it makes me appreciate, all the more, the rules of order and parliamentary protocol of Parliaments and Congresses. Houses of Representation never looked so good! Ha!

  5. the magistrate/registrar didnt wear a wig

  6. You know, it’s so funny for me to visit your blog because I get a sense of what it must be like to really stir up dissent. It’s hard to piss people off with poetry and pictures. Visiting your blog is an education in controversy.

    • haha. it’s an education for me too!

      • Hans says:

        So true. I think my most controversial blog was when I timidly admitted that I didn’t like “Black Swan” as much as everyone else… “but still liked it a lot… just not as much. Sorry everyone! It’s an excellent movie anyway!”
        I’ve been meaning to tell you, I only agree with about 60% of the things you say but I love HOW you say what you say 140%, so it balances out. You’re always compelling and back your points with logic, and that’s what any conversation on sex needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s