By now, perhaps, you are aware of the uproar about the ScienceBlogs corner of the bloggysphere. PepsiCo has
bought started a blog here, called Food Frontiers. Many are unhappy, bloggers and commenters alike. Read PalMD's take, and commenters there, for one perspective.
One of the potential disadvantages [of a blog network] is advertising and sponsorship. Here at Sb, we've been very fortunate in that our content is completely independent. We control anything in the center column. The top and right however belong to Sb, and they use this space to keep the place running. There have been several times when the advertising has been less-than-appropriate, and SEED has responded by altering it, but in this economy, it pays to be flexible. Ad content can serve as blog fodder. There's nothing preventing those of us who blog here from critiquing the ad content as vigorously as we wish to...PepsiCo's PR flacks basically own a the center column content on one of our blogs. This is not only a fundamental conflict of interest, it's also deceptive. If PepsiCo is providing the content, it should, in my opinion, be clearly labelled as advertising.
The only way to be free of any corporate influence over content is to be 100% ad-free, as Ms Magazine so candidly revealed to us at the beginning of the 1990's in Gloria Steinem's famous editorial, "Sex, Lies, & Advertising", with this stunner of an opener:
Suppose archaeologists of the future dug up women's magazines and used them to judge American women. What would they think of us--and what can we do about it?
About three years ago, as glasnost was beginning and Ms. seemed to be ending, I was invited to a press lunch for a Soviet official. He entertained us with anecdotes about new problems of democracy in his country. Local Communist leaders were being criticized in their media for the first time, he explained, and they were angry. "So I'll have to ask my American friends," he finished pointedly, "how more subtly to control the press." In the silence that followed, I said, "Advertising."
The reporters laughed, but later, one of them took me aside: How dare I suggest that freedom of the press was limited? How dare I imply that his newsweekly could be influenced by ads? I explained that I was thinking of advertising's media-wide influence on most of what we read. Even newsmagazines use "soft" cover stories to sell ads, confuse readers with "advertorials," and occasionally self-censor on subjects known to be a problem with big advertisers. But, I also explained, I was thinking especially of women's magazines.
There, it isn't just a little content that's devoted to attracting ads; it's almost all of it. That's why advertisers--not readers--have always been the problem for Ms
You really should read the entire editorial - it's an eye-opener, believe you me. But in case you can't be bothered, let's just rephrase those opening paragraphs for the present case.
Suppose archaeologists of the future dug up science blogs and used them to judge American people. What would they think of us--and what can we do about it?
About three years ago, as official panic over the obesity epidemic was beginning and ScienceBlogs seemed to be ending, I was invited to a press lunch for a SoftDrinks official. He entertained us with anecdotes about new problems of development and packaging in his company. Local fizzy-fructose-beverage leaders were being criticized in their media for the first time, with calls for a tax on soft drinks, he explained, and they were angry. "So I'll have to ask my Social Media friends," he finished pointedly, "how more subtly to control the press." In the silence that followed, I said, "Blogvertising."
The bloggers laughed, but later, one of them took me aside: How dare I suggest that freedom of the blog was limited? How dare I imply that his blog could be influenced by ads? I explained that I was thinking of advertising's media-wide influence on most of what we read. Even blog networks use "soft" cover stories to sell ads, confuse readers with "blogvertorials," and occasionally self-censor on subjects known to be a problem with big advertisers and rainmakers. But, I also explained, I was thinking especially of science blog networks.
There, with the typical online model of using content to attract ads, ad generation is itself inherently problematic. Cut out the woo, the sexism, the racism, the evil fill-in-the-blank companies poisoning the environment, the military-industrial complex, the food industry making us fat, and what's left to work with? That's why advertisers--not readers--have always been the problem for ScienceBlogs.
Everybody - including me - wants their precious ScienceBlogs blogs content to remain completely controlled by the blog authors, and the blog authors alone, subject to absolutely no editorial control, from the cat herders or the advertisers. Who's gonna pay for that? There are going to be ads, and now, blogvertorials. Or you, Dear Reader, are going to have to suck it up and pay a fee for the privilege of reading our pearls of wisdom. Who knows, maybe I, Your Blogger, will also have to start paying for the privilege of blogging here some day. I believe I shall leave when that day comes, but you know what they say: never say never.
As it stands now, Scienceblogs is more like Ms Magazine than Cosmopolitan, both in terms of its ability to attract advertising, and in the types of advertising its readers - and writers/workers - will tolerate without revolt. There are woo science blogs, and for them, the woo ads. The problem for ScienceBlogs, as a network that wishes to turn a profit, or at least stay afloat, is the same as the problem faced by Ms Magazine during the time it accepted advertising. Namely: advertising's cherished virtues do not include integrity, honesty, skepticism, and a commitment to social justice. Appropriate, non-offensive ads for ScienceBlogs are few and far between. (But then, that might be said of advertising in general.) I am sure no one would be offended if my favorite farmer's market farm advertised on ScienceBlogs - their produce is awesome! and organic! - but it is not going to keep the lights on.
The important thing is that our content - the content of the Real, True Bloggers Blogs - has never been sullied, controlled, or influenced, by editors or ads, and as far as we know, there are no plans to change that. Right?
Let's examine the evidence.
1. Every time one of us blogs about some stupid fucknut ad you see on the sidebar or across the top of the page, even when the sole purpose of the blogging is to mock, abuse, criticize, and display our pithy, scathing, deeply insightful social commentary inspired by and pertinent to and deconstructive of the ad - we have called attention to the ad. And we have changed the content of our blog that day, in response to the ad. The advertisers probably cream their jeans every time we do it. No such thing as bad publicity and all that.
2. There is no ultimatum, but there was a kind request not to use words like "fuck" in blog post titles. I remember there was a good reason given with the request, though what it was I cannot recollect right at the moment. (Still, one is free to create fetchingly appropriate post titles like "Sucking Corporate Dick".)
3. Awhile back, a goodly number of us were deeply aggrieved about Jim Watson, Avowed Sexist, Racist, and Despiser of Fat People Who Will Never Be Hired By Him, being on a Seed Media Group do-goodly board and we raised a fuss on our blogs. Eventually we were assured that Things Were Happening and asked if maybe we could be patient? (Translation: not so vocal out here in public.) Pretty much, I'm still waiting. I believe I will be waiting till the Second Coming of Christ. If I were of the right sex and social/weight class that would allow Jim Watson to perceive me as an appropriate person with whom to form close social bonds and business networks, perhaps I'd have trouble cutting him loose too, who's to say. Sometimes, you do what you gotta do to run a business - and that might include asking your bloggers, as nicely as possible, to turn their attentions elsewhere for awhile - by assuring them, Things Are Happening.
So, there's a PepsiCo blog. Read it or don't. I won't; my life is short, and I can't keep up with the great blogs I already read, plus newspapers and books.
The minute Seed Media Group tells me Gigantico Corp. wants to put an ad on my blog post space, or just post an entry on my blog, or give me a little editing help, or maybe just ask me not to be quite so shrill because they think you can catch more flies with honey, which they now offer in convenient single serve no drip one use packets made completely out of bamboo which is a renewable resource and my readers might be interested in how they are saving resources! then I am outta here.
Perhaps a more interesting question is, should I be outta here now anyway? If an enterprise like ScienceBlogs cannot be funded except by taking money from sources that you and I, Dear Reader, deem offensive and unethical - why should I continue to contribute? I think this is another version of skeptifem's question. I will rephrase it for my own purposes, more generally, thus:
How are we to live in this world when every action we take is tainted by some sort of injustice, some infliction of injury-at-a-distance? (and sometimes not so distant.)
I don't know. It's nearly impossible. Tread as lightly as one can. Each person has to decide where the breaking point is for her or himself. Pal's or Grrl's may come sooner than mine. Without a job, ScienceBlogs is like my workplace, where I hang out at the water cooler and catch up on the gossip. I am loathe to lose that, even though my primary care physician told me pointedly at my last visit that caffeinated sugary beverages are the devil's drink. And their decaf, no-cal substitutes are no better, she added. Water! Pure clear water from the tap for you! she commanded.
Well, that's what I have to say about that. Have at it, Zuskateers.
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Well, it says right up front on the FoodFrontiers blog that it is made by PepsiCo. I don't see a problem with that because I don't think Pepsi is offensive or unethical. This post reads like you have a big fat anti-corporate Lay's Sour Cream and Onion chip on your shoulder. Personally - and I might represent a lot of passing visitors at Science Blogs when I say this - the drama seems a little high around here. Is office politics a frequent topic here on Science Blogs? Doesn't seem very science-y to me. I read PZ Myers' blog from time to time and he's got his share of name-calling going on there, and look, maybe this comment is just me coming to terms with the fact that that's the culture around here. Sorry it had to come down on your side of the fence. I guess I just expected more astute, unaffected authors under a URL with the word science in it.
Matt M, that is a major reading comprehension FAIL right there, buddy.
Why should "Science" be cool and objective and never take sides or get passionate about issues? "Unaffected" authors? Don't we do science and tech because we *are* affected, *are*, interested, and *are* passionate about learning, researching, uncovering, discovering, and innovating?
The problem with advertising and science is that advertising is message -- i.e. "answer" -- driven, while science is based fundamentally on questions.
"more astute, unaffected authors under a URL with the word science in it."
IOW, stop being so emotional, you silly chicks!
AHAHAHAH! Maybe Pepsi blog will get an unending stream of "I thought this was a science blog WTF?" over there. Oh d00dz with their pulses on the veins of "science-y"ness and science URLs... I'll crack open a refreshing Pepsi with my buttered popcorn for the show.
Well... I'm not a blogger here, so I have much less at stake than y'all whose names could be tainted. From the backlash this morning, though, across so many blogs whose voices I respect, it doesn't look like PepsiCo is going to go unchallenged here no matter what ScienceBlogs itself has to say about it. And I'd hate to see so many well-established bloggers run for the hills just because a majorly evil corporation got its toe in the door.
...I'd rather see them galvanize into a wall of gnashing fangs and DRIVE the interlopers out.
Sorry it had to come down on your side of the fence.
"It" didn't "have to" do anything--you made an active choice to type a comment in a box and click "post". Sheesh.
"Water! Pure clear water from the tap for you! she commanded."
Huh. Yet another sap taken in by Big Water. Its nefarious tendrils reach into the furthest corners of the medical profession, you know.
[this comment was sponsored by GatoradeTM]
Thank you. I keep running into this one. I can avoid blood diamonds (or indeed, any diamonds), but people manage to murder and get murdered over growing bananas. Hell, everything you pay taxes on directly funds war.
Advertising is everywhere, and there's no such thing as influence-free content (or lunch). Are people saying they should be able to believe everything they read on ScienceBlogs without question? That's daft, and it's precisely the opposite of what many of the bloggers advocate.
That said, I am glad that there is now an "advertorial" banner on the PepsiCo blog. Direct corporate sponsorship should be clearly marked as such; but it doesn't remove the responsibility to be skeptical of what you read.
"Joe learns that water has been replaced with Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator, a drink advertised as 'rich in electrolytes', for virtually every purpose, including crop irrigation. Water is only used in toilets." - imdb synopsis, Idiocracy.
Also, is there a bingo card for HFCS-lovin' corporate dick suckers? Because this here douchieness from Matt M would give me a winner:
"I don't see a problem with that because I don't think Pepsi is offensive or unethical."
Just like porn, son, just like porn.
Bingo. I've seen posts all over Sb about this move, and absolutely none of them has suggested this solution.
It's the only tenable one. The only way at all for a bog to exist without advertising is for it to be provided gratis by its owner, or for it to be paid for by its readers.
Re the PepsiCo blog itself - I'm not as attached to the idea of purity in the Sb message (whatever that might be), or worried about bias in posts. Every post I read here (sitewide) is biased in one way or another, after all. If they publish crap, they'll be excoriated, and that's fine.
However, they might actually be trying. Maybe they're planning a major wave of transformation into sustainability and humanly-consumable products. I don't know if I believe that, but it's way too early to tell.
Or you could learn how to be polite, nice, and learn some age appropriate social skills and behaviors. Like I tell the kids I work with you be surprised how far being nice, being polite, and being age appropriate in one's behavior gets you. I am willing to teach if you're willing to work at it. And it works. The kids I work with have jobs and most overcome issues so severe as to negate their white male privileges (assumes they were all that powerful and useful to begin with).
I think that is why you are having such a misunderstanding, matt. Pepsico is a huge multinational corporation. They have to try and grow and gain more profit each year in order to be fair to the shareholders. They are required by law to make unoffensiveness and ethics less important as considerations than profit. The pepsico corporation relies on the production of things like corn. Just look into the history of corn here and in latin america and you will see how corporations (with help from our government) behave in order to achieve maximum profit. They don't behave fairly towards the populations affected by their decisions. The power of huge corporations like Pepsico to mold the economy is a massive disservice to everyone. Right now we are facing a crisis because a small group of people decided for the rest of us what the infrastructure should be like, and they decided that everything should run on gas and people should have to drive to get most places. I doubt that anyone interested in genuine efficiency or the future would have planned our whole economy and way of life around fossil fuels, a non renewable resource, and wasting time driving and using things no one needs. If you read about the potato famine you will see why someone who is trying to maximize their wealth would decide to structure things in such a way. The way that food works in our country (massive subsidies for the least healthy foods, flooding foreign markets with the subsidized food to make workers easier to exploit) are probably not what most people would choose if they had a say. There is not any notion of meritocracy in that system. Whatever happens to be dominant keeps perpetuating itself this way well beyond its real usefullness.
If you want a specific reason to be offended at pepsi's lack of ethics, you can find one easily. Pepsi in india is full of pesticides and pollution. They let people drink carcinogens and toxic substances at rates much higher than is allowed in the developed world. They played a role in a water privatization issue in the same region. This is just what is known to us. It is just one company that behaves exactly the same as all the other large companies, and it explains the state of the world very well.
History shows us this pattern over and over again. It is impossible to ignore. That is why being called "anti-corporate" is about as far from an insult as you can get.
Oh look, it is the dude with the most innapropriate moniker possible!
Maybe you should take a time machine back to the first wave of feminists and let them know that they would get their rights ASAP if they were just polite about it. I mean, asking nice to be allowed to vote or have equal human status must have been something they never tried before, considering that violent struggle was how those dummies decided to get things done. amirite??
I wish you would spend your time reading actual history instead of making everyone aware of how ignorant you are by posting. Try some Howard Zinn.
Here's what I don't get about the blog hosting costs money argument. Hosting blogs seems like a low dollar business. The less editorial control, the lower the cost. I'd be shocked if Seed has been losing money on the scienceblogs section of their business over the past couple of years.
What Seed is understandably trying to do is figure out how to make MORE money from scienceblogs.com. I assume they'll use some or all of that money to pay for other cool reporting in the Seed media empire, but the argument that this will all go away if they can't find ways to make more money seems a bit weak.
Perhaps you should realize that tactics used and attitudes wielded by people almost a century ago may not be the right ones to use in other matters. Christ, I ate lead point as a child and yet I long ago figured that out.
You must have eaten a lot of it, I mean, LOOK at what you are trying to argue here. You are acting as if such a tactic has EVER worked when it came to oppressed people gaining ground. Pick a struggle that is more contemporary, and you will find the exact same results. Unless you think that hispanic people should just politely ask the mayor of arizona to stop oppressing them is a good idea, too. Or hey, maybe women should just be nicer when they ask not to be raped?
The point wasn't just about any specific struggles conclusion anyway, it was about how you are assuming quite a bit about Zuska's experiences. I was hinting towards the idea that she probably knows better than you about how to act when dealing with sexism, because she does it. It is the same as the idea that women struggling for rights don't need you to tell them to keep trying something that doesn't work. Women who deal with sexism know that it doesn't work to be polite- we are all socialized to please others our whole lives, so it isn't like this is a conclusion that is drawn easily by women. When we are angry it is deemed hysterical or crazy. We all live dealing with sexism, and you are telling us how to deal with it instead of asking. I made the comparison I did specifically to highlight how silly you look when you say stuff like that. Sexism is a problem you will never have and never understand, and to declare to Zuska that politeness is the force that neutralizes it is LAUGHABLE.
Not only that, but you are assuming that Zuska wasn't polite. You have no idea if she was or not.
Here's what I don't get: PepsiCo is, as skeptifem pointed out, a huge transnational corporation with more money than all of us reading this put together and then some, so why are they not putting up their PR blog on their own site, or on some "experiential marketing" site they've created for the purpose, unless it's to leech scientific street-cred off the assembled community of Sciencebloggers? What's in it for them? Do they actually think that very many of, say, PZ Myers' or Orac's faithful hordes are going to actually read their blog (thereby driving their traffic up) except to point and laugh? I'm, uh, skeptical.
I also think PepsiCo has a huge intrinsic conflict of interest, posting on a science blogging site about food -- they're interested as a matter of profit-making course in convincing people that their food is nutritious and good for you, so their incentive to fudge facts or outright lie is pretty high, and after having seen what various corporations of similar size have done in terms of spreading disinformation and propaganda regarding tobacco, cars, biofuels, food, and labour relations, I don't trust them as far as I could spit them, collectively.
We're not talking about oppressed people. I was mocking Zuskas' interact with a specific individual. As a cursory glance at Yahoo's Finance section will reveal co-workers who are rude and do things like engage in libelous name calling without providing evidence generally do not advance in the work place
And I was publicly stating that leveling career ending allegations at someone without providing proof is representative of the behaviors that probably keep out of the work force. If I did something similar, I would be out of a job because my white male privilege is outweighted by her boss privilege.
Welcome to the learning-disabled world where whenever we get angry or upset, it's dubbed "attention-seeking," "theaterics," or "faking." If the individual is patronizing, we get pat on the head and people make excuses for us on the grounds that we're "Crazy."
I'd debate with you whether women or the intellectually different suffer worst from this but since you're a Chomsky reader, we both know you'll make your idol and basically make stuff up.
I am merely telling Zuska how I and other people have achieved superior succcess in the workplace.
What sexism? She just leveled serious allegations at a guy and then bitches because people around him avoid here. Heere's life- if you call people racist without a damn good reason to do so, people are going to avoid you. Not only to avoid becoming a target of your nonsense, but also nobody likes rude people. Nobody likes hanging around with liars. Women included.
I've read her blog and seen her attitude here. If she was in school today, she would have an IEP and a classroom aide tasked with following her around and reminding her of proper behavior. Just like the boys who act like her.
Holy shit you guys- did you see how many people left over this? The last 24 hour link has a bunch of resignations. This place is pretty cool.
If you go somewhere else I will read you, Zuska. I think that the network of sciencebloggers can be kept together if you all link to each other in the next place.
not much of a history punk, if you can't grok why telling a woman to just be nice and polite, is worthless, useless and an impressively clueless display of privilege.
not much of a history punk if you can't grok why comparing a woman who isn't sufficiently demure and passive (in your opinion) to mentally/emotionally disturbed *CHILDREN* is insulting, dismissive, misogynistic and yet another impressively clueless display of privilege - multiple levels of privilege.
not much of a useful commenter, since you're nothing but a tone troll, apparently.
Or you could learn how to be polite, nice, and learn some age appropriate social skills and behaviors.
"Nice" like insulting someone on their own blog?
Fuck THAT shit.
I'd debate with you whether women or the intellectually different suffer worst
Those are not mutually exclusive categories. Also, this isn't the Oppression Olympics.
Holy shit you guys- did you see how many people left over this? --skeptifem
I, too, will follow the bloggers I like if they leave the network. Because believe it or not advertising folk, it's about the content, not the branding.
I also agree with Interrobang that PepsiCo is doing this to "leech scientific street-cred" from science bloggers. It's pretty transparent.
"I also agree with Interrobang that PepsiCo is doing this to "leech scientific street-cred" from science bloggers. It's pretty transparent. "
And I'm agog that Scienceblogs is *allowing* it. Way to completely demolish your credibility, ScienceBlogs!
"I doubt that anyone interested in genuine efficiency or the future would have planned our whole economy and way of life around fossil fuels, a non renewable resource, and wasting time driving and using things no one needs."
Oh, don't get me started. Anyone interested in genuine efficiency would have avoided planning the economy period.
Oops. spoke too soon: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/07/pepsico_has_been_expelled.php
Which privilege am I displaying? The privilege that comes with my multiple learning disabilites, or the privilege one gets when one injuries one's self in the military, has that injured denied by untrained MTI's who state that you're "crazy" and then proceed in a course of action that leads me to suffer multiple operations, years of recovering intermixed with years of on-again-off-again physical therapy, and an ultimately unhealable injury that makes basic activities like walking, running, sex, and even standing painful?
Sure it is. After all, if it was ever conceded that the white males might, even in limited circumstances, always be the most privileged ....
When I am intentionally rude, I accept that people may not like me or will think less of me. Of course, that precludes the playing the oppressed minority card.
I recently subjected an uniformed marine to the same treatment I gave Zuska here when he started acting stupid. I suspect given your particular flavor of political indoctrination, you wouldn't mind nearly as much.
In fact, I'm treating Zuska like I have treated my best friend, my brother, and a few random people I have gone off in public, like the aforementioned marine. She cannot ask for more equality that (in this regard).
Well, since the Pepsico blog has been canceled, it looks like History Punk's concerns never came to pass. Remarkably, even though Zuska didn't state her case as politely as HP would like, Zuska's points (and those of the hundreds of others who protested, many less maturely than Zuska) were heard.
So much for that worry. Turns out that sometimes it isn't the worst tactic in the world if women show some anger. Especially when it's as well-articulated as Zuska's OP was. It actually is part of getting the desired result!
Good to know.
History Punk said: "blah blah be nicer blah blah you should blah blah mainsplain blah blah"
I think you have the wrong thread. This one is not about what you think I should do. Try this one.
You guys ever consider that you can be polite and speak your piece at the same time?
Polite & nice do not need to equal meekness & passivity.
I get the feeling a lot of you are way too passive in your daily lives, so have this need to let it rip when you are behind your computer screens.
I'm not talking here about PepsiCo (now moot anyway) but about how, for example, GMP was treated. She made a polite request to Isis and was subjected without warning to a major, mocking, public flogging for what is at worst a minor gaffe.
Did it ever occur to anyone that Isis could have said her piece, intact, by emailing back GMP, or even writing a post where she voiced her concerns more respectfully?
Then, when GMP defended herself, people could have responded respectfully but honestly to those points, then, I don't know, let it drop instead of screaming at her over here for not capitulating at once to the judgment of Isis?
Ditto for how Nails/skeptifem got me kicked off IBTP.
I can't believe people who act this way think THEY are the mature ones who are the experts in conflict resolution.
This whole idea that one shouldn't respond to criticism seems to run counter to your whole philosophy of "making noise". When Nails/skeptifem (why the fuck can't you stick with one name?) alerted the IBTP commuity to my supposed toxic racism, of course I vigorously defended myself. My total 2 or 3 modest length posts were later described as 27 or 17 posts calling people assholes (I never did anything of the kind), and I was treated in response to a chorus of "shut up and stop whining you are extremely boring go look in the mirror if your skin is white cop to it and shut up".
Whether there was any accuracy to Nails' accusations was immaterial.
BTW I brought up one of the examples Nails held up over at BioE's (you kow, Isis' BFF) place and BioE totally agreed that my statement was not racist.
It is bizarre (and Zuska I've said this more than once with no response from you...) to demand that people automatically accept these kinds of judgements, often untrue or wildly exagerated. I find this demand disturbing. And silencing. How fucking ironic!
"You guys ever consider that you can be polite and speak your piece at the same time?"
So, what you're saying is, you didn't read ANY of the comments addressing exactly this, and so you honestly think you're the first one to think of it. Isn't that just precious.
"I recently subjected an uniformed marine to the same treatment I gave Zuska here when he started acting stupid."
LOL. Yes, yes you're so impressively manly and strong. *yawn*
"I suspect given your particular flavor of political indoctrination, you wouldn't mind nearly as much."
And a mind reader! What, praytell, is my "political indoctrination"? And I bet you aren't indoctrinated. That's just for people who, you know, don't silently tolerate your tone trolling, I'm sure.
"In fact, I'm treating Zuska like I have treated my best friend, my brother, and a few random people I have gone off in public, like the aforementioned marine. She cannot ask for more equality that (in this regard)."
Uh huh. Nothing says "equality" like "I'm too much of a holier-than-thou privileged jackass to understand how much of a holier-than-thou privileged jackass I am, so when I treat you the way I treat other holier-than-thou privileged jackasses, just shut up and take it, bitch."
Sometimes people don't agree on what equals sexism (and racism). Perhaps this would be interesting reading:
Ahh, Ms. McEwan. Is there anything at which she does not kick ass?
Oh yeah, *we're* indoctrinated, because it is so damn easy to find anarchist/socialist/extreme left critique in this country, right? We all had to work at it to find the info and ideas that we all believe in. The official line, what you stick with, has been fed to you for free every day of your life. It is useful to people in power so it keeps going. Why don't you explain to everyone how our soldiers are "liberating women" in the middle east like you did before, since us hopefully indoctrinated folks just can't understand how the bombs stop misogyny.
Isabel- Let it the fuck go. I refuse to argue with you about IBTP. Following me around and bothering me about it here and on CPP's place is not going to change that. Do you not understand how weird and dysfunctional it is to that?
ALso wtf, he treats his brother this way and a marine and so he is treating zuska 'equally' by giving her the same treatment? They don't have the problem being discussed (being oppressed via sexism), so why the fuck would you treat them the same?
HP- you don't know what it is like and you never will. Deal with it instead of trying to pretend that you do/can. That is at the core of your not understanding the problem with your comments. You think you have valuable input to give on a problem that you do not experience or have even attempted to understand (that would require listening, rather than telling people what to do).
Thanks skeptifem, I just read this article about Pepsi in India http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_24/b4038064.htm very informative.
Zuska, despite my learning disabilities I have managed to overcome them well to learn how to read and read reasonably. In the future, please remember that Learning Disabled /= stupid or retard. Many people with LDs grow up to serve the military, rise to reasonable positions in academia, and even managed, unlike you, to find employment.
It seems that you're cognitive normal enough to escape what the children I work withvsuffer through everday but not smart enough to recognize your privilege in this regard. Tragic.
Try Barnes & Nobles. Or Borders. Almost without fail, Amazon.com will have it. I know each year that the book festival sponsored by Baltimore City will have a massive section organized by the local anarchist collective. Hell, I find rather harsh critiques of the American government and society in places like the CIA Electronic Reading.
Just because nobody likes your ideas, doesn't mean you are oppressed. Your ideas might just be dumb.
and even managed, unlike you, to find employment.
All right, you can stop that right now.
You're not the only person with disabilities here--show some goddamned respect for our collective struggle.
What SKM said. Also:
HP seems to suggest that because he yells at Marines and his family that asking Zuska to be nicer isn't sexist. However, sexism is never determined by the intent of the person whose words/behavior is perceived as sexist, nor can it be determined by greater knowledge of that person's typical behavior. From Melissa McEwan's essay (linked above):
"Whether something is sexist (be it a word, a consumable item, a practice, or anything else) is neither dependent on how it is intended nor how it is received, but on whether it serves to convey sexism, which itself is determined by its alignment with existent patterns. When 2+2 has equaled 4 since time began, anyone claiming 2+2 suddenly equals 5 would be regarded, quite rightly, with suspicion. It is vanishingly unusual for someone to say/do something that fits perfectly with an ancient pattern of sexism yet is somehow not an expression of sexism.
"Let me quickly stipulate and clarify that one can unintentionally express sexism. That innocent intent, or ignorance of the history of how women have been marginalized, does not, however, in any way change the quality of what was being expressed. Something can still be expressed sexism even if the speaker's intent was not to oppress women. And particularly if it does fit neatly into a historical pattern, it necessarily conjures that pattern of sexism, intentionally or not."
Telling women they need to be nicer, sweeter, and politer occurs in the context of a culture that constantly silences women, punishes them for being forthright, honest, angry, and marginalizes angry, outspoken women. History Punk, you may not have intended to participate in this continuing societal movement that silences women by demanding sweetness and compliance from them, but your words do not exist in a vacuum. For those of us who have studied the history of sexism and experience the present Patriarchal culture, your words are problematic. You probably didn't intend to be sexist. But even if that is the case, you unintentionally expressed sexism, participating in a discourse that is sexist (and pervasive).
HP, you make me LOL! My comment to you had nothing to do with whether or not you have learning disabilities. It has to do with your inability to parse a thread on this blog due to your mainsplaining disability.
Which, come to think of it, I suppose is a form of learning disability.
Why do read this blog if it irks you so? Just so you can pop in now and then to give me the benefit of your superior advice and wisdom? If so, spare yourself and devote your energies elsewhere.
Seriously. Go away.
""You guys ever consider that you can be polite and speak your piece at the same time?"
So, what you're saying is, you didn't read ANY of the comments addressing exactly this, and so you honestly think you're the first one to think of it. Isn't that just precious.
Posted by: Endor | July 8, 2010 3:07 PM"
Well, for example, you said the following when HP suggested it would be better to e nice and polite. I interpret that as be respectful, you seem to assume it means "passive" and "demure".
"not much of a history punk if you can't grok why comparing a woman who isn't sufficiently demure and passive (in your opinion) "
And what a laugh - skeptifem imagines I am following her around! Like I never spent any time here before. Hahaha. What a narcissist! And like I want to engage her! hey asshole Nails, please don't ever talk to me again okay? I was talking about you, I was holding you up as a bad example.
My comments were addressed to the general readership and to Zuska.
Also, interesting that I am told every time it comes up to "let it go". Hey this just happened a couple of months ago, I was banned from a popular blog that I enjoyed, but I should "let it go" yeah, act like it never happened!
And oh yes now I am *obsessed* with Nails because I haven't completely forgotten it ever happened. Meawhile precious skeptifem is patted on the head constantly for keeping a record of everything everyone ever said on the blogosphere, including me!
Hahahahahaha. Too much!
"Telling women they need to be nicer, sweeter,"
Sweet? Who said sweet? No one said sweet, demure or passive.
No, HP seems to think treating people like you treat your best friends when they do similarly stupid is not sexist. However, I am apparently wrong. I will treat Zuska differently. Zuska, would you like me to be nicer to you? Apparently, your readers here seem to think you can't play with the boys.
Which historical pattern are we going to use? Also, how will you ensure that this historical pattern was selected on the basis of historical evidence and not because of moral and aesthetic values? How will you ensure accuracy in the historical pattern?
When they teach the kids the jobs portion of their program, should we not teach the portion of the cirriculum that goes into politeness on the job? Or should we just not teach it to the female students?
Just an aside, has anyone figured out what a world without patriarchy will resemble?
Nice. Crack jokes about learning disabilities. Never heard that one before.
Now, if I was to post the slogan on this T-shirt (Probably NSFW) Seriously. Go away.
Now everybody, Zuska here has plagarized one of my student's reactions to being corrected when he's violated my rule banning his being stupid. Now, should I treat her like I treat him? Or, despite her age and privileged background, hold her to a lower standard on account of her gender?
The same reason I read Free Republic. Amusement.
HP, you are indeed yourself a neverending source of amusement!!!!
I don't know if you have noticed or not, but this is not a job site. You may find this ever so hard to believe, dear boy, but being as how I have decades of experience in a wide variety of job sites, I am able to (1) tell the difference between a job and a blog and (2) understand that the standards of professional behavior that are the norm for interaction in a workplace are not necessarily required for communication on blogs and, in fact, may impede the project one wishes to carry forward on one's own blog - said project, in this case, not including any requirement to be polite (certainly not by your specifications).
I really don't give a dead rat's ass how you think you ought to "treat" me. What amuses the hell out of me is your notion that you are here on my blog as some sort of pedagogue, dispensing scholarly wisdom regarding the communication skills necessary for me to properly conduct my "blog job". hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! But hey, mainsplain away, d00d. Every click here is more cash for the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer - I thank you for your donation!!!!
Seriously, a "history punk" who has to ask what historical patterns of sexism against women I'm talking about? Are you denying that there is clear, consistent, and broad historical evidence that women have been (and continue to be) treated less well than middle-to-upper-class white men?
Perhaps we should set up another Zuska blog just for isabel, History Douche and every other self-obsessed, whiny, flaccid troll to go talk about themselves to each other for ever and ever. That way, they would be content and we could have a single thread that didn't devolve into mansplaining, trying to reason with the mansplainer and isabel talking about herself. Again.
"Perhaps we should set up another Zuska blog just for isabel, History Douche and every other self-obsessed whiny, flaccid troll to go talk about themselves to each other for ever and ever"
SSShhh! Silence you fool! This blog is the saucer of beer in The Garden, don't you see? Working a treat. So be quiet and stand by with the salt.
"Just an aside, has anyone figured out what a world without patriarchy will resemble?"
Posted by: History Punk | July 8, 2010 10:39 PM
Please elaborate on the question.
I'll smile pretty, be so very nice, demur, and silent. That way, equality will be here in five minutes! Need some salt, milord? *curtsy*
Historical patterns like everything else in history are as much invention and construction as pure discovery. How will you know that you have the right one and that your interpretation of it is accurate?
As for your question, that has to be the dumbest thing I have been asked this year. Did I mention that I work in special education?
How will women know that they are winning against patriarchy? Or making progress? Or being stalled?
" Every click here is more cash for the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer - I thank you for your donation!!!!"
As someone who has not so much as dated a woman once, I will let you figure out why this hinting that I am a homophobe is stupid. It took the kids I worked with about a minute, collectively, to puzzle it out.
Given I get paid to do it, I like to do it, and my bosses say I do a good job at it, I intend to do so. Plus the kids like me. I'll let them know you object to my specific duties. But I have to ask, do you mock me because I am in a traditionally female field of employment or do you dislike Special Education in general because its a traditionally female field? Seriously, I have never before met anyone who mocked my occupation. Classy.
As for your question, that has to be the dumbest thing I have been asked this year.
I asked the question because what you have said so far suggests that you believe historical evidence of sexism is a matter of interpretation. If it's a dumb question, then perhaps you haven't made yourself sufficiently clear.
There is ample historical evidence that women have been continually infantilized, required to be more demure and polite than men, and punished for their anger/outspokenness/demands/honesty. Do you deny that this historical record exists?
I have never before met anyone who mocked my occupation
Unless one counts your own mocking of your students:
As for your question, that has to be the dumbest thing I have been asked this year. Did I mention that I work in special education?
âOr being stalled?â
Posted by: History Punk | July 9, 2010 6:52 PM
Indeed. One could think that significant progress would have been made in a society that, as a whole, had determined that women and PoC were people, too, because, ya know, they passed a law about it n stuff. So, no worries, right? (Wait, why would there have to be a law about it?) Still, that one tiny part is interesting.
âOr you could learn how to be polite, nice, and learn some age appropriate social skills and behaviors. Like I tell the kidsâ¦â
Right back at cha, cuz I really donât believe there are any kids here. Grown-ups arenât always nice or polite, and that is completely age-appropriate TYVM. No one needs your permission to do squat. You seem to be stuck on that issue. Like, really stuck.
âPerhaps you should realize that tactics used and attitudes wielded by people almost a century ago may not be the right ones to use in other matters. Christ, I ate lead point as a child and yet I long ago figured that out.â
What does that really have to do with anything? You complain because some posters here (or even Zuska) arenât nice; when skeptifem points out that âNiceâ doesnât work, you move the goalposts and suggest that it was ok to be mean then, but âyaâll need to be nice now.â Be nice to whom? You? Why?
Especially when you say this:
âAnd I was publicly stating that leveling career ending allegations at someone without providing proof is representative of the behaviors that probably keep out of the work force. If I did something similar, I would be out of a job because my white male privilege is outweighted by her boss privilege.â
I donât know how much of that lead paint you ate, but I would *never* assume enough to walk into someone elseâs house and lecture them on their housekeeping or carbon footprint or child rearing orâ¦ well, anything really. Maybe you assume (rightly or wrongly) that Zuska gets paid for blogging on this site, so you think itâs okay to come to her job and give her career advice. But then, didnât you also call her unemployed? (ah, yes, post #40) Please, make up your mind.
âI am merely telling Zuska how I and other people have achieved superior succcess in the workplace.â
That made me LOL for realz, even. Thanks.
âI've read her blog and seen her attitude here. If she was in school today, she would have an IEP and a classroom aide tasked with following her around and reminding her of proper behavior.â
What flavor is the vanilla on your planet? Seriouslyâ¦ do you work at a charm school in the deep South or something? âProper behaviorâ this and âproper behaviorâ that. Ugh. No wonder you donât get what has been oh-so-nicely-and-politely explained to you. And you clearly don't want to, whatever the reason.
Thanks for pointing that out, SKM. The insult only functions if one assumes that special ed students ask stupid questions.
"There is ample historical evidence that women have been continually infantilized, required to be more demure and polite than men, and punished for their anger/outspokenness/demands/honesty. Do you deny that this historical record exists?"
Posted by: Comrade Svilova | July 9, 2010 8:08 PM
Of course it can be denied, because it's "proper behavior." It's just "what's supposed to be" and "the way things are." It doesn't matter what you, woman, think or feel about it, it just "is." So how could that be sexism?
"There is ample historical evidence that women have been continually infantilized, required to be more demure and polite than men, and punished for their anger/outspokenness/demands/honesty.
To the contrary! There is ample historical evidence that women have been cosseted, coddled, protected, and supported by the hard-laboring men around them for centuries--the ungrateful freeloaders! Is a little common courtesy so much to ask in return?
See? History is easy--anyone can write it!
HP, if you think that my thanking you for your visits here which contribute to donations to my chosen charity - all my blogging proceeds go to that charity - is calling you a homophobe, that's on you, buddy. I was calling attention to my charity. You are such a misogynist I thought you might not be happy knowing that your support of this blog is adding cash to the coffers of a feminist charity.
You might be the greatest teacher in the world IRL for all I know, who knows, I've never seen you teach. So I can't mock your teaching. I mock you here for being such a douche and pretending you are Teh Pedagogue of Teh Feminist Blogz. I can't help myself - you provide such good material.
Isabel- Let it the fuck go. I refuse to argue with you about IBTP. Following me around and bothering me about it here and on CPP's place is not going to change that. Do you not understand how weird and dysfunctional it is to do that?
Skeptifem, if she doesn't waltz into people's living rooms to straighten out every soul who hasn't asked her for her opinion, then who will?
Oh, wait, I forgot. HeiniePunk, World Arbiter, will.
Endor, YOU are doing most of the whining around here (as usual). And I have not talked about myself at all here, so I have no clue what you are on about.
Haha, when I read HP's comment on the charity being some kind of way to mock him, I was surprised because I had assumed Zuska was serious about the donations to the Mautner Project. There's even a banner about it in the left side-bar of this blog.
Sorry for the double-post, but I just came across this piece from feminist ally Hugo Schwyzer (yes, he's pretty religious, but still ... most of his feminist theory is spot on):
A representative quote:
Part of being a pro-feminist man, Iâve come to realize in recent years, is being willing to face the real anger of real women. Far too many men spend a great deal of time trying to talk women out of their anger, or by creating social pressures that remind women of the consequences of expressing that anger. Many men, frankly, are profoundly frightened by women who will directly challenge them....I know that itâs hard to be a young man in a feminist setting for the first time, and I know, (oh, how I know) how difficult it is to sit and listen to someone challenge you on your most basic beliefs about your identity, your sexuality, your behavior, and your beliefs about gender. Itâs difficult to take the risk to speak up and push back a bit, and itâs scary to realize just how infuriating your views really are to other people, especially women.
The first task of the pro-feminist male in this situation is to accept the reality and the legitimacy of the frustration and disappointment and anger that so many women have with men, and to accept it without making light of it or trying to defuse it or trying to soothe it....After all, one of the pernicious aspects of the "myth of male weakness" is that men canât handle being confronted with womenâs anger. We either run away literally or figuratively, disconnecting with the television, the bottle, the computer screen. But weâre not little boys who will physically lash out in rage when challenged, nor can we be so fearful that we dodge and defuse and check out. Thatâs not what an adult does in the face of the very real emotion of another human being.
"Skeptifem, if she doesn't waltz into people's living rooms to straighten out every soul who hasn't asked her for her opinion, then who will?"
Cara you are so fucking deranged. I wasn't trying to straighten out anyone's soul. I was using my experience with Nails as an example of someone (Nails) who judges widely and sanctimoniously, but who is clueless and in my case was flat out wrong, because of her ignorance of history.
So admitting I "have dogshit on my shoe" would have been the wrong thing for me to do, as it would have made no sense.
Also, if I have a beef with anyone it's the owner of the IBTP blog, who should know better. She said in such a case that I have two "sane" choices 1) accept skeptifem's (incorrect) judgement 2) leave and never come back.
Nails is young: I know I spent more time then I'd like to admit being a sanctimonious asshole when I was 23.
Jill, on the other hand, has no excuse. It's interesting that although she constantly apologizes for being white and even commonly employs offensive terms such as "honky" (really sticking it to the man there Jill!) she never really discusses her rare class privilege.
Isabel, speaking only for myself, it's very frustrating to me to have many interesting threads punctuated with your posts about Skeptifem and IBTP. It seems like a derail, since the threads are about other topics.
Now I'll drop this theme too, since I've already added to the off-topic-ness of this thread.
Oh pleases, the thread is not that interesting, and 90% of the comments are off-topic. Like many others here, I was simply responding to HP's original comment. Try again.
Also, if you hadn't left that snide, hateful message to me, no one would have to endure another reply. But I figure YOU bothered to spew your hyperbolic, pointless whining, so why should I hold back?
"Now I'll drop this theme too, since I've already added to the off-topic-ness of this thread."
But you posted anyway. I guess you are special that it was very important that we all read an incredibly boring post about your exaggerated inner turmoil.
Please keep talking about IBTP on Zuska's blog, Isabel. Pretty please. I'm begging you.
The ambiguous insult. Since I am a fat guy, my kids will frequently call me "big man" or "the big guy." Naturally, they only do after being corrected. I notice that you've never made an issue out of before that remark.
Name calling. Geez, my kids never do that to me. I did take Skeptifem's advice and checked. It seems that the people who actually know me think I am okay. They enjoy my company. They even enjoyed reading my posts on here.
Also, you need to work on your name calling skills if you want to shock or offend me.
WTF? Dude, are you high or something? Because that was surely apropos of nothing at all.
Zuska: You are welcome to spout your opinions and be mocked for your sanctimonious bullshit all you like, each time you visit my blog you contribute to a feminist cause.
HP: YOU CALLED ME A HOMOPHOBE! BE NICER!
Zuska: Dude, I was just saying that since you're so obviously misogynistic (ed: which I totally agree with), it's pretty damn funny that you keep contributing to feminist causes.
HP: AMBIGIOUS INSULT! YOU KNOW WHO ELSE INSULTS ME? THE KIDS I TEACH. I'LL USE MY SPECIAL ED KIDS AS EXAMPLES OF YOUR AND OTHERS' STUPIDITY ALL THE TIME, COZ THAT'S PERFECTLY OK.
Seriously dude, whiskey tango foxtrot?!?
Cara I sincerely hope you get the help you need, seriously.
It seems that the people who actually know me think I am okay. They enjoy my company. They even enjoyed reading my posts on here.
They have a context that we don't have. They know you IRL and know that you're not a jerk. Since your posts here have constantly crossed lines for commenters (especially your remark about disabled people who are unemployed, for which you have not apologized), and because you insist that none of your comments are anti-feminist even after we've explained why they can be interpreted as such, we have no other data to contradict our assessment of you as an asshole.
Perhaps you should continue having this discussion with the people who know your finer qualities IRL. Because unless you change your approach to this discussion here, we are unlikely to change our assessment of your character.
Someone wake me when Isobel stops talking about herself. Again. And when HP stops pretending anyone gives a shit what he thinks. Again.
I think we need to take up a collection and buy Zuska a banhammer.
I think we need to take up a collection and buy Zuska a banhammer
Zuska already has a banhammer--it comes in the welcome gift-basket you get when you join the Hairy Feminazi Conspiracy, along with your very own copy of the Radical Feminist Agenda, some Big Scissors, and the toaster they give you for becoming a lesbian (which you must be, if'n you're a hairy feminazi).
No, Zuska has one of the most generous commenting policies on ScienceBlogs--one that serves a useful purpose for her readers by showing us What We're Really Up Against and providing Whack-A-Troll practice.
The benighted crap that some folks say in these threads is what they are actually thinking. *shudders*. Thus Spake Zuska: proud purveyors of The Red Pill!
Endor likely knew all of this, but there may yet be some newbies out there who don't even know they have a toaster coming to them!
Huh. I guess I didn't examine closely enough the contents of my "Welcome to the Hairy-Legged Man-hater Club!" gift basket. I def don't remember a toaster!
"Someone wake me when Isobel stops talking about herself. Again."
I was not talking about myself one bit, except to provide an important example of the prevailing philosophy gone wrong, based on an event I recently experienced.
Why on earth would Zuska ban me for that?
And relevant to all the talk about banning (hey I didn't start the derail) and pleas from Cara for more news about IBTP I see there is a lot more banning - a real shake-up -going on over there.
Our dear sock-puppeted friend has led the pro-science, anti-woo attempt to clean house and remove all the hippie feminists, and now Alexa has been given the boot as well!
So let me get this straight. When my kids act up and do things that could end careers like making allegations either explicitly or implicitly, of very politically incorrect beliefs, you all have no problems.
For example, if someone was to point out that Skepifem's idolization of Helen Keller and Sanger is typically of her contempt and hatred of the mentally disabled and fully explains her reaction to me, you'd have no problems with my punishing them.
However, when Zuska does the same thing, I shouldn't say anything because I am oppressing women and evil.
Well, I am just an ex-special education case, so what the fuck do I know? Good thing you all with your cognitive normal privilege are around to set me straight.
Frankly, I compare you to my kids because my kids are better than you. They at least strive to be useful. They make an effort not to be stupid. Most of all, they, unlike Zuska and her sychophants, are never deliberately dumb. They never blame their failings on the man, the system, or imaginary, unmeasure gibberish like privilege despite being legitimately able to do so.
I am oppressing women and evil.
I will state for the record that oppressing Evil is all right by me.
"I will state for the record that oppressing Evil is all right by me."
Seconded. Esp if we can use more goodies from the Hairy-Legged Man-Hater gift basket.
HP, as SKM said earlier, all of us who are de-valued by kyriarchy are in this together. There's no benefit to saying that one group is better than another because said group makes less noise, or is more quiet and complacent, or is more able/willing/successful at complying with the kyriarchy's demands. Your students may stand a better chance of being employed than someone who rants at his or her employer about injustice. But that was never the subject of this discussion -- as has been pointed out endlessly, this thread is not about employment prospects or about strategies for fitting in better with the status quo.
A feminist got angry about oppression (oppression in general, including racism, able-ism and classism) and you suggested that she be more polite about it. You were (intentionally or not) playing into a long-standing discourse which demands that women, PoC, and other marginalized groups (including the disabled) "be nicer" to their oppressors if they want to be considered to be fully human.
I'm not saying that's what you meant to say. I'm not a mind-reader, and I don't know you well enough to divine your intentions. However, that's what it sounded like you were saying, and it bothers some of us who have heard that argument too many times. Everyone has a right to get angry about injustice. When someone's applying for a job, yes, a certain amount of compliance with the status quo is probably a good strategy -- at least until the revolution. :-)
However, it isn't helpful to expect that people who face some kind of oppression never examine it or talk about it -- or get angry about it. And where better to get angry and let one's hair down than on a mostly anonymous blog on the internet? Internet feminists can and do employ multiple strategies in our attempts to change the dominant paradigm to one in which all people are valued as fully human. Anger is a valid response to injustice, and anger can be a helpful strategy in anyone's fight for World Justice, Peace, and Happiness.
"They never blame their failings on the man, the system, or imaginary, unmeasure gibberish like privilege despite being legitimately able to do so."
I suddenly pity you, deeply and completely. This statement is the perfect distallation of white boy privilege. And misogynistic bingo. This statement is precisely and exactly what I knew you were always thinking, and why no one here ever bought the lie that you were on our side.
I feel so sorry for you. So lost in your privileged, clueless, arrogant bigotted little world that you are tearing at the seams because you can't force women here to agree with your clueless, privileged bigotries and incessant whining. You lie, slander, deliberately misrepresent and then pout when no one is fooled. You are no feminist. You are no ally. You are an excellent, obedient automaton.
And you are in DESPERATE need of some contact with reality.
Shorter HP: " 'MY KIDS' listen to me uncritically and look up to me."
Honestly. So much absurdly patronizing White Boy arrogance, so little to back it up.
Poor World Arbiter, straightening out the wimmenfolk who are out of line on some website he's being forced to look at. Hilarious.
Know what you need to do to be compliant and avoid the risk while Translation Medical Insert, Translations Medical Insert and gain the perspective and position of a medical device industry expert.
You want me to insert my translations where now?
You want me to insert my translations where now?
And after said insertion, can you remove them without hitting something?
You want me to insert my translations where now?
And after said insertion, can you remove them without hitting something?
Yeah, Zuska, you should be nice and polite, like that nice, polite James Watson. If you were nice and polite like James Watson - who never had a bad word to say about anyone, I'm sure - you too could have people like HistoricalRevisionismPunk leaping to your defense.