Tuesday, November 28, 2006

radfem blogging commentators: consider the bonobo

I love I Blame the Patriarchy, I really do. I read it almost daily and always enjoy Twisty's point of view. Do I agree with her 100%? As a matter of fact, I do not. More like 85%, probably. I still enjoy hearing her take on things. Go figure.

What is bugging me right now is the comment section, which I used to blissfully ignore. But now that I know it's there, it's hard to ignore. Especially when there are 150 comments. So I read, I am amused, I learn a few things, I get irritated, sometimes I comment, but lately, not so much. Why? Because yahoos will eternally plop themselves down into someone else's blogspace and be predictably tiresome. Commenters on feminist blogs seem to get mired in the same conversations over and over and it's really getting on my nerves.

There are the people who complain that the Blogger or Commentors are too strident, too militant, not "nice enough," and proceed to explain in a patronizing tone that more people would pay attention if only they would tone it down a bit. Because, you know, asking nicely for an end to patriarchy would surely work; if only we had thought of it before! Use a soft, well-modulated voice, passive tense, wear lip gloss, and tilt your head. It'll work, sweetie! Go ahead, try it!!

These same folks often get their knickers in a twist because somebody disagreed with them, vehemently, perhaps impolitely even (shocking!), and suddenly the commentor feels that everyone is picking on them. Wah, wah, and wah. You walk into someone's house and act an ass or say something disagreeable, someone is going to call you on it. Same with someone else's blog. If people disagree with you and you don't like it, don't go there. Attendance is optional.

Then there are the straight girls who think they're being disagreed with just because they're straight. At every feminist blog I've visited, this is not true. They're being disagreed with because they're wrong. Or misguided. Or ignorant. Or whatever. But it is a convenient distraction from the substance of one's opinion: "You hate me because I'm not a lesbian!" Jeez, could you get any more stereotypical? Absurd. I'm a straight girl and have never had my opinion discounted for that reason, so far as I know. Now, if I started making ignorant unqualified assertions on behalf of the lesbians of the world, I'd deservedly take some flak, since I'd have no right to that. Likewise, I sure as hell wish other hetero commenters wouldn't decide to make comments on behalf of all the other man-fuckers in the house. I didn't elect a Speaker of the Hetero Female Population, so leave me out of your pronouncements, dig?

Then there are the people who don't understand why their rhetorical or universal questions about feminism, patriarchy, capitalism, why the sky is blue, and why a frog aren't answered immediately, with footnotes, by everyone in sight. They need to shut up and read a book instead of expecting the world to drop everything and explain it all to them on demand.

Finally, what's with the CONSTANT FUCKING FLOW OF PERSONAL ANECDOTES? Yes, I know I'm shouting. I know it. Why, oh why, must any pronouncement of one person's opinion on any feminist-inflected topic open a floodgate of personal testimonies about the joys of blowjobs, housework, childbirth, high heels, corsetry, BDSM, bonobos, cats vs. dogs, macs vs. pcs, etc.? Jeebus. It's almost like there's an outside agitator at every blog whose job it is to shout into the midst of any fruitful feminist conversation "blowjob"!! or "high heels"!!! (or both) ...and thereby distract, befuddle, and irritate every participant, thereby resulting in no conversational progress AT ALL. God. Why does it all come down to shoes and makeup and hair and sex in these conversations? Sweetie, I don't care what kind of shoes you wear. I really don't. Do you care what kind of shoes I wear? I didn't think so. So quit it. Seriously. (Unless you want to write a shoeblog, in which case, go see Manolo's Shoe Blog for lessons on how to do it. But let me reiterate: do it on your own time, on your own blog, mmmkay?)

The best part is when, after someone has threadjacked a comment section in one of the aforementioned directions, someone else says, stentoriously: "Don't you people have anything more important to talk about? Shouldn't you be worrying about Darfur or China or world peace instead of something so silly and petty as clothes and fellatio?" Bog, I love that. Because, you know, anyone who talks about sex or clothes or makeup is clearly incapable of thinking about anything else, ever, at all.

I'm trying to quit reading comments, really I am, but I am powerless to resist the comment count. 125 comments! 175! 200! How can I resist such lively discourse?

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