sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (fuck patriarchy)
I just had a bunch of surprisingly productive discussions around feminism and harassment, spurred by the stupid verdict in the case of Gregory Alan Elliott, the latest Tropes vs. Women video, and the overall imbalance in what we mean when we talk about freedom of speech.

Both of these cases have a lot to do with how the law is unwilling (I almost typed "unable," but this isn't true—they're perfectly capable of understanding Twitter threats against cops) to take into account both gender dynamics and internet culture. Elliott was acquitted (and may go on to sue his victims) because they didn't act like perfect victims. Why, one might ask—and the judge did—would they block him and continue to respond to his tweets?

This is a fundamental misunderstanding of how these things work. I know, because I've had stalkers and trolls. There is no perfect way to engage with them. Your mother might have said, "ignore the bully and he'll go away," but you knew even as a child that this wasn't true.

Internet discussion is largely public. This means that if I am telling the truth and Igor the Troll is telling a lie, our discussion is witnessed by outsiders. A typical exchange might go something like this:

Igor: Obvious falsehood nevertheless believed by those who have an interest in maintaining the status quo.
Sabs: Bunch of facts in rebuttal.
Igor: Shut up you cunt bitch ill rape your eyesocket.

(If you think I'm exaggerating, you're naïve af. This is mild by comparison to some of the things I've seen.)

Now, a logical judge, not taking gender or power into account, is going to think, "well, she can block him, why doesn't she just block him?" But Igor is not going to shut up. And to an audience—because this is the internet, and there is always an audience—if I shut up, Igor looks like the winner.

This is something that just won't make sense unless you spend a lot of time around kids, which I do. If you show kids a political debate and ask them who won, the kids will not identify the person who said the most accurate facts. They will identify the person who was the loudest and who, preferably, spouted the most insults. The primary reason, I'd argue, why Trump is popular is because most Americans haven't progressed past the developmental stage that my kids are in.

So my choosing to block and ignore may be, to me (and the judge) a sensible move of self-preservation, to Igor the Troll, and everyone watching, it looks like he won. Now, I can choose to ignore this, and I probably would, but it will be galling. It will sit under my skin. Igor the Troll will not stop talking because I've stopped talking. He may go on to talk about me, to spread rumours and lies, and he's less likely to be challenged because sensible people don't bother.

I fully understand why Guthrie and Reilly wouldn't, in this circumstance, act like perfect victims and just ignore the scum harassing them. Why should they? Why does Elliott get freedom of speech and they do not? Why is it always down to the woman to run away, to withdraw, to not go out at that time of night wearing that skirt?

Anyway, one dude messaged me and said he didn't get feminists. Did we want equality or supremacy? He compared feminism to vegans, and how there are some vegans who just are, and some vegans who reminded you that they were vegan every five minutes.

I used to draw this distinction too, before I saw what was happening to a vegan friend of mine on Tumblr. She'd post a vegan recipe and immediately get anon hate. Was it any wonder that rather than be intimidated into silence, she'd get louder in response? That got me thinking to just how often omnivores remind us that they're omnivores—bacon memes, posting jokes about vegetarians murdering carrots—but this stridency is entirely invisible, because most people are omnivores. Vegans are perceived as more obnoxious about their dietary choices not because they are (I'm firmly convinced they're not) but because it's Other, and thus marked as a political statement, while eating meat is neutral and unmarked.

Dude admitted he was afraid of women, so I unpacked that. It's the old Margaret Atwood quote: "Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them." We went back and forth for about 45 minutes, at the end of which I think he got it a bit more.

I had a similar conversation with another young man who'd posted a "political correctness has gone too far; you can't say anything without being called a racist or a sexist, FREEZED PEACH"-type rant. Now, it's probably not a secret that I don't believe in freedom of speech—as in I don't believe that it exists, period, or can exist—but I questioned him on his consistency. Did he believe, for example, that ISIS sympathizers on Twitter should have free speech? Was he vigorously defending their rights to say what they liked? Of course, he wasn't, so I walked him through his own flawed assumptions about what was violent and what was peaceful. I don't think he agreed with me by the end—I wouldn't expect him to, as he's not the sharpest chisel in the toolbox—but he remained remarkably civil throughout and thanked me.

I don't always have the time or patience to educate people about power dynamics or feminism or anti-racism, and I tend towards the hairtrigger emotional at the best of times, but I'm kinda pleased with how these various discussions went. I mean, it stresses me out that we still gotta fight these stupid battles, but what else can you do?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (go fuck yourself)
Can anyone tell me what the point of issuing a trigger warning without a jump-cut might be?

I admit that this may be a failure to understand netiquette on my part, but it seems to me that if one's intent is to create a safe space for survivors of violence (and particularly survivors of sexual violence) and otherwise marginalized people, placing a trigger warning directly above the rest of a post makes no sense.

I'm increasingly seeing posts like this:

This blog post is about clowns
[TW for clowns]

So I saw a clown the other day. He had wandered off from the rest of the circus, and was sitting in an unmarked white van, just kind of leering at passersby. I was really freaked out. Who lets clowns leave the circus unsupervised these days, anyway?


Does putting the trigger warning there actually do anything to deter a reaction on the part of someone who, say, has clown-related PTSD? Methinks if your reaction to reading about triggers is so severe that you need a trigger warning, placing the article directly below probably isn't the greatest idea.

I can see something like this:

This post is about things that crawl and have too many legs
[TW for spiders]

Read more )


That way, if someone is triggered by spiders, they can avoid the post altogether and read the one about clowns instead. But no one off LJ seems to do this. On the serious feminist blogs, all of the triggery posts are uncut.

Of course, I don't do trigger warnings at all, so maybe I'm missing something here. Anyone care to enlighten me?
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (quit your whoring now)
Try as I might, I just can't get excited over Proposition 19.*

I mean, this isn't an ideological stance or anything. I think that pot should be legal. The War on Drugs is ridiculous and responsible for the destruction of countless lives. It's just not an issue that I would, personally, get all activist-y about. The older and more curmudgeonly I get, the less I care and the more I wish people would get up in arms over things like convictions based on evidence obtained through torturing a child.

It might have something to do with so many of the most vocal potheads, and pot-legalization activists, are libertarian douchenuggets like this guy, and don't care about the human rights of anyone but potheads. Pot is almost worse than alcohol for bringing out the douche in people who already have latent douche tendencies. Also it smells godawful.

Anyway, those of you who are having elections right now, I hope yours go better than ours did.

* The fact that I'm Canadian might have a wee bit to do with that; Americans didn't exactly get excited over Ontario's municipal elections.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (harper = evil)
Between our pathetic environmental record (and the impressive trollage by the Yes Men at Copenhagen) and the Conservatives shutting down the committee probing Canadian links to the torture of Afghan detainees, this has been an exciting couple weeks for news in the Great White North. By which I mean I am thoroughly disgusted by our government in a way that is almost refreshing. I mean, I knew they were evil from the get-go, but Harper was at one point able to disguise his oozing corruption and malice from a large enough group of voters to get into power. It's kind of amazing that I can still be shocked by anything these bastards do.

I'd like to think that his latest demonstrations are enough that he will be relegated to the status of national embarrassment, a collective cringe akin to that which history now gives Mulroney, but I think Canadians are by and large dumb and hateful enough that none of this will affect the outcome of the next election. Also, Iggy would probably do the same.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
Between our pathetic environmental record (and the impressive trollage by the Yes Men at Copenhagen) and the Conservatives shutting down the committee probing Canadian links to the torture of Afghan detainees, this has been an exciting couple weeks for news in the Great White North. By which I mean I am thoroughly disgusted by our government in a way that is almost refreshing. I mean, I knew they were evil from the get-go, but Harper was at one point able to disguise his oozing corruption and malice from a large enough group of voters to get into power. It's kind of amazing that I can still be shocked by anything these bastards do.

I'd like to think that his latest demonstrations are enough that he will be relegated to the status of national embarrassment, a collective cringe akin to that which history now gives Mulroney, but I think Canadians are by and large dumb and hateful enough that none of this will affect the outcome of the next election. Also, Iggy would probably do the same.

Zizek!

Apr. 10th, 2009 09:19 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (lenin to stalin)
It was a slow day on the interwebs, so in lieu of doing something really productive, I took a long walk, did some laundry, and then watched Zizek! It was a terrifically entertaining movie but I still have some questions that will bother me until answered by the internets.

[Poll #1381488]

I forgot to do a question about whether The Fountainhead is really one of his top three favourite movies, but I think it's pretty clear he's trolling there.

P.S. Which one of you is [livejournal.com profile] perfecthamburge? S/he is too good to be true, and I need to know.

Zizek!

Apr. 10th, 2009 09:19 pm
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
It was a slow day on the interwebs, so in lieu of doing something really productive, I took a long walk, did some laundry, and then watched Zizek! It was a terrifically entertaining movie but I still have some questions that will bother me until answered by the internets.

[Poll #1381488]

I forgot to do a question about whether The Fountainhead is really one of his top three favourite movies, but I think it's pretty clear he's trolling there.

P.S. Which one of you is [livejournal.com profile] perfecthamburge? S/he is too good to be true, and I need to know.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Jew jokes)
The Truthers have let my people off the hook. We might have killed Christ, but apparently we didn't do 9/11.

To my more observant friends: Enjoy your matzoh!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
The Truthers have let my people off the hook. We might have killed Christ, but apparently we didn't do 9/11.

To my more observant friends: Enjoy your matzoh!
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (purged!)
It has come to my attention that some people are suffering from a case of both mistaken identity and trollishness, and seem to think that [livejournal.com profile] zingerella and I are the same person (and furthermore, that I am in the habit of banning trolls after their first comment).

Z. has already examined the evidence disputing this theory here, but I thought that expanding in chart format might also help:

Sabotabby Zingerella
Quirky feline sidekick Marinetti Luna
Superpower Making art Dancing
Impressive culinary feat Chickpea curry Queer vegan rainbow cookies
How to make her sing Get her drunk She actually does it willingly
Get her mad and she'll... March around with a placard Write to Olivia Chow
Preferred method of troll disposal Lengthy flamewars, gratutious cat photos, public mockery, and !mod action sequence! tags Polite disagreement, followed by public mockery
Can ban your sorry ass from... The Antisocial Socialist, Free Palestine, PunkAssBlog Zabaglione and Zeitgeist, This Crazy Industry


I hope this clears up the issue somewhat. If you'd like the pleasure of getting mocked and then banned by me (and who wouldn't? I have been taking troll-baiting lessons, and I was pretty good to begin with!), it's best to make those requests in a journal, community, or blog where I am able to rob you of your ZOMG FREEDOM OF SPEECH.
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
It has come to my attention that some people are suffering from a case of both mistaken identity and trollishness, and seem to think that [livejournal.com profile] zingerella and I are the same person (and furthermore, that I am in the habit of banning trolls after their first comment).

Z. has already examined the evidence disputing this theory here, but I thought that expanding in chart format might also help:

Sabotabby Zingerella
Quirky feline sidekick Marinetti Luna
Superpower Making art Dancing
Impressive culinary feat Chickpea curry Queer vegan rainbow cookies
How to make her sing Get her drunk She actually does it willingly
Get her mad and she'll... March around with a placard Write to Olivia Chow
Preferred method of troll disposal Lengthy flamewars, gratutious cat photos, public mockery, and !mod action sequence! tags Polite disagreement, followed by public mockery
Can ban your sorry ass from... The Antisocial Socialist, Free Palestine, PunkAssBlog Zabaglione and Zeitgeist, This Crazy Industry


I hope this clears up the issue somewhat. If you'd like the pleasure of getting mocked and then banned by me (and who wouldn't? I have been taking troll-baiting lessons, and I was pretty good to begin with!), it's best to make those requests in a journal, community, or blog where I am able to rob you of your ZOMG FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

Profile

sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
sabotabby

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