So’s your mother

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“Instead of preventing the stoning of an adulteress, as Jesus did, they would have gone looking for bigger rocks.”

“I think they are just constantly looking for excuses to not change it.”

“I had to look for validation and affirmation outside the doors of the church. There was none to be found within.”

“That thing where a woman makes a suggestion and it gets ignored, and then a man suggests it and people fall over themselves to praise it? It’s happened to me. It’s happened to virtually every woman I know.”

“From the Sanhedrin, to the Salem witch trials to the Taliban to grim Congressional hearings, we seem to have no shortage of men eager to claim ultimate authority over a woman’s life — or rights.”

“If we’re Christians, we might admit that our world has a sinful relationship with power, and as a Church, we are chief among sinners.”

I don’t want to identify with the Proverbs 31 woman; I want to identify with Jesus.”

“Here we were in the grocery store at 10 P.M. on a Sunday night, having been married for less than an hour, when I first felt the critical spirit rise within me.”

“A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that the pay gap between men and women increased between 2011 and 2012, leaving women making $163 less per week.”

“[Mortgage] applications involving a wide variety of income levels and lending amounts that have a woman listed as the primary borrower and a man listed as co-borrower were 24 percent less likely to have a loan approved compared to applications that listed the man first.”

“Politicians who try to be funny often struggle. Politicians who try to be funny about state-mandated, medically-unnecessary, trans-vaginal ultrasounds invariably fail.”

“Since an appearance on Hannity on Tuesday [Zerlina Maxwell has] basically been under an escalating online assault filled with racist epithets and threats of rape all for stating what I think is a fairly straightforward opinion on the intersecting issues of guns and rape.”

“As a female blogger, I can absolutely vouch that there are men who feel horrifyingly comfortable telling me about all sorts of violent fantasies they wish to act upon my person because they’ve disagreed with something I’ve written.”

“If you’re one of those terrible people who shows up at abortion clinics to yell at patients and shame them for their sexual choices, you have a greater than one in ten chance every week of yelling invective at a woman who had a man force sex on her against her will. No wonder they pretend it doesn’t happen.”

“The main message of the ministry of Jesus that I see is one of liberation and justice, and to me, contraception is tied directly, for women, to their economic liberation, to their emotional and spiritual liberation.”

“I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind.”

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  • The_L1985

    Here’s a somewhat-less-disgusting anecdote to add to the annals.

    My father was talking to me about getting a teaching degree. He wasn’t sure I should become an educator, because the pay isn’t high enough to suit his idea of success. But he understood how someone could have a passion for it, after all: “Your mother’s job actually isn’t bringing any money in, overall. Between gas money and supplies, it costs us about as much for her to teach as she earns as a teacher. But I let her do it, because I know how much it means to her.”

    Did you catch that? He lets her teach. As if he could stop her! If my father tried to get my mother to stay at home all day, every day, for the rest of her life, I can pretty much guarantee she would divorce him in a heartbeat, his six-figure salary be damned.

    5 years later, I’m still not sure if I want to tell my mother about that. I feel that it would either drive a wedge between my parents, or reveal some rather ugly facts about my mother that I’m happier not knowing.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That’s horrifying on two fronts. The first is obvious, but the second — is it really costing as much as her income to earn her income? I want to know if that can be substantiated, or if it just sounded like a convenient reason to not like that she teaches.

  • The_L1985

    Honestly, I doubt it. But on the other hand, she worked on the other end of the county, and drove there in a mini-van. She was also a very good teacher who understood the importance of hands-on learning, and even the best school districts are notoriously bad about providing resources for that. Still, that only accounts for maybe $5-10k/year, and only because traffic between 7:15-7:45 AM is so nasty, especially in the greater Birmingham, AL area, which was apparently laid out by a drunk.

    The only thing I can think of, given that a 30-year high school teacher in AL tends to earn around $50k/year, is that he’s including her work clothes as an expense. I know he knows how much she earns from year to year, because he files their taxes jointly–so not realizing how much her income has increased over the years isn’t an excuse.

    My father has a lot of the horrible symptoms of Pre-Vatican-II-Catholic-Who-Prefers-The-Old-Ways-itis. Being a chauvinist is really par for the course. There’s a reason I’m careful never to mention the fact that I have, in my life, initiated telephone calls to men, or that I support Planned Parenthood financially. I’m pretty sure his head would explode.

  • AnonaMiss

    There’s a reason I’m careful never to mention the fact that I have, in my life,initiated telephone calls to men

    What.

    How does he think you get tech support?

  • WalterC

    Maybe it’s like the rhythm method, where it doesn’t count if you “accidentally” drop your phone and it “just happens to” land on the speed-dial button for the tech support people.

    Some really conservative Catholics really go in for that whole, “It’s technically not a sin as long as you use an awkward and roundabout approach” and “It’s technically not a sin as long as you don’t acknowledge any personal agency.” stuff.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    That’s not initiating a call to a man – it’s initiating a call to a massively confusing voice mail menu…

    (I actually work in tech support – there’s a reason virtually all of my customers prefer email…)

  • fredgiblet

    Funny. Almost all of my customers prefer phone. I think it’s because they want to try to yell at us or bargain with us to give them more of their money back.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Clearly your customers have never had to talk with Akshayakeerti “Ben” Pothuvaal, who transitioned directly from farming lentils to computer customer service with no interim education.

    Gotta love that exploitation factor. Why hire people with experience when you can shop the international market for someone willing to be paid two dollars an hour to read a script?

  • fredgiblet

    The first call center job I had I made a joke about pretending to be Indian to the customers because they wouldn’t believe it if I told them we were American, it got a good laugh.

    I think it’s more that whining is easier talking than typing (I do chat support) and people are lazy. They don’t want to have to WORK to complain endlessly about how we’re stealing their money. Also sometimes they appear to think that I don’t understand what they’re saying and that it would be easier if they were talking to me, usually the answer (though not in these exact words) is “No I DO understand what you’re saying, you’re just WRONG”.

  • banancat

    There are plenty of problems with outsourcing, but can you be a little less racist about it? People with accents aren’t automatically unqualified or even bad at speaking English, and also the customer support technicians that are from the U.S.A. or Canada are also frequently unqualified. And having a name that you’re not used to doesn’t make it harder to get help from someone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    I don’t know how true it is anymore, but at one point – back when I worked in a tech support call center – I read that one of the biggest problems with the people working in outsourced call centers was that they were overqualified. Many of them had Engineering or CS degrees, but were not able to find any sort of gainful employment in their areas of expertise so they ended up working in call centers.
    I often saw some evidence of this when I would get a call from a customer who had previously called in for support and gotten one of the outsourced call centers. The phone techs had talked them through all sorts of rather in-depth troubleshooting of their computers, helping them install new drivers, and often stopping just short of walking them through a complete format and reinstall of the OS, but hadn’t actually come close to fixing the actual problem, which was usually something much more simple and specific to the actual software (the AOL client software), not the OS or the computer itself.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    (New feature!: Disqus will now delete your writing-in-process if you switch windows too often. AAARGH.)

    Agreed that holding lack of qualification against outsourced agents but less against western agents is racist. I will need to work on that. I’ve just had a lot of terrible experiences with outsourced agents, including one particularly horrible week where I spent several hours every day with Verizon’s team in Mumbai, trying to find someone who could manually set up a new customer account.

    The weird thing is,Verizon’s Mumbai ITS solutions department actually asks for qualifications which should have made it an easy task to help me. The fact that I spent five days talking to people who seemed to have no comprehension of what I was talking about left me with such a sour taste in my mouth that I’ve had a grudge against companies which use outsourced customer service teams ever since. Language barriers exacerbate the difficulty of communicating concepts that one or both parties may not fully understand and I don’t think it’s a problem that companies should ever be willing to lay upon customers to save a few bucks on labor.

    For the record, though, I don’t really blame the people at the jobs. It’s extremely good pay — the Mumbai department apparently gets paid $3000/annually, which I gather is quite good in India (although I wish American companies were obliged to pay American wages for outsourced employees). It puts me in mind of HMO claims departments and having to do terrible things to make a living — the job is terrible, not the employees.

  • banancat

    The fact that I spent five days talking to people who seemed to have no
    comprehension of what I was talking about left me with such a sour taste
    in my mouth that I’ve had a grudge against companies which use
    outsourced customer service teams ever since.

    This isn’t an excuse for racism though. People who speak English as a first language are frequently condescending and/or incompetent.

    As for the language barrier, in my experience, phone technicians from other countries speak English as well as from the U.S. I don’t automatically assume the worst when I hear an accent, but maybe I have some special amazing talent where I can understand English even with an accent.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I know. *Sighs* It’s an artifact from before I started being more conscious of this sort of thing. As I said, I’ll work on it. I shouldn’t be associating frustration with any group of people based on race alone. That’s bad. I know this is bad.

    You probably meant that last bit sarcastically, but it’s kind of a thing, actually. I’m terrible with voices and need people to speak clearly or else I constantly mishear what they’re saying, even when they’re as familiar as my significant other (whose accent is only slightly different from mine). I trip up over any dialogue regularly. It’s a bad enough problem that I hate watching movies without closed captioning. It’s not that I don’t hear what someone’s saying, it just… jumbles together into gibberish. If I’m then hearing words pronounced in a manner I’m not used to, that just makes it worse.

    (This is actually why I threw a bunch of non-English music into the Tune That Name: A thread. Since I know the vocals are in another language, I can stop trying to make sense of them and just enjoy their addition to the song’s texture.)

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    As a hearing impaired person, I will right now point out that (a) not being able to speechread over the phone and (b) the other person having a heavy accent equate to a very frustrating experience.

    It is not racism to state that communication is being hindered due to factors beyond one’s control.

  • Randomosity

    I’ve worked in tech support. I’ve actually had a woman tell me that she was happy to get a woman because the man she got before was a total douche and she told me her experience with his patronizing crap made her a feminist. Plus I fixed her computer and he failed to, which is why she had to call back.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    You pleasantly remind me of this xkcd, Randomonsity. :)

  • The_L1985

    That’s not the sort of telephone calls I’m talking about. When I was in high school, I once forgot to copy down a homework assignment. All the girls were out that evening, so I had to call a boy. Now, I had no romantic desire for this young man at all; I was calling for one and only one reason, and that was to get the assignment so I could do my homework. But in my father’s eyes, I Called A Boy and that just isn’t right.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “As a female blogger, I can absolutely vouch that there are men who feel horrifyingly comfortable telling me about all sorts of violent fantasies they wish to act upon my person because they’ve disagreed with something I’ve written.”

    What I would love to know is how the men who say things like that can square that with the fact that theyr’e talking to someone’s sister, girlfriend or mother.

    I mean, wouldn’t they just explode in absolute frothing rage if someone told their sister something like that?

    So what gives these men the right to say things like that at all?

  • VMink

    Anonymity and entitlement. :( Well, that’s not a ‘right’ so much as an ‘excuse.’

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    Not even anonymity. You see these sorts of threats all the time on Facebook, too, where most of the posters are using their real names.

  • VMink

    That’s a great point. Someone modified the Greater Internet F*wad Theory to replace ‘Anonymity’ with ‘Freedom From Consequences.’

    Huh. Apparently it’s called the ‘Online Disinhibition Effect’ officially.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    The person suggesting the modification was GTZ from Fat, Slutty, or Ugly (a blog for mocking sexist communication in online games.) The specifics was:

    Normal Person + Audience – Consequences = Total Fuckwad

  • Lori

    I have some questions about the “normal” part. For one thing, “normal” is mostly an illusion so using it almost always bugs me. More to the point, using it in this context implies that the effect applies to everyone and obviously it does not.

    I think it’s more:

    Person With Certain Kinds of Issues + Audience – Consequences Perceived As Meaningful and Negative = Total Fuckwad.

  • stardreamer42

    I wouldn’t be so sure about the real names. I have “Miles Vorkosigan” on my Facebook friendslist, and more than a few other people who I know are using pseudonyms.

  • http://redwoodr.tumblr.com Redwood Rhiadra

    Oh, certainly – I use a pseudonym on FB, and many of my friends do as well. But many of the men making these threats do appear to be using their real identities.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And heaven forfend some scammer find out their info (“doxxes them”) – they’d lose their shit like you wouldn’t believe.

    Yes, it’s totally hypocritical, but what can you expect from these jackasses.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    There’s something about the Internet that can turn practically anyone of any age into a virtual sociopathic rapist and murderer. It’s like a direct line from their subconscious to publishing format with no interruptions along the way and no remorse afterward.

    I think the worst part of it is that any time someone brings up this line of discussion, the comments section of their blog or whatnot instantly fill with more of the same in an effort to justify why it’s all right to wish someone was raped and murdered as long as it’s over the Internet. They think that because it’s quasi-anonymous–the same reason they feel all right doing it–it should also be water off the back.

    Meanwhile, the actual sociopath continues to feel disgusted.

  • Lori

    Part of it is that some folks do not see folks online as actual people. I mean over and above not seeing any female as a person. It literally never occurs to them that the blogger they’re harassing is someone’s loved one because they see no connection between the online and offline worlds. The folks in the plastic box are just pixels or toys, not human beings.

    Part of it is that for some people disrespect and harassment only matter when they’re directed at their sister/mother/girlfriend. Other people’s female loved ones are fair game. This particular version of ‘it’s all about me” is sadly not rare.

    See this discussion of Republicans and “Miss America Compassion”:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2013/03/well-if-it-affects-me-thats-different

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    This just came up in FB too, with a trend of questions and rebuke that I think are interesting.

    Rebuke: “We need to show this man our support.”

    Question: “Why are you looking a gift horse in the mouth? Aren’t you glad he’s on your side now?”

    Am I wrong for thinking that both of these fall under the trap of tribalism, and that perhaps pulling the man into the fold isn’t the message we should send?

  • stardreamer42

    I think it’s an excellent example of “the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend”. My advice would be to take the alliance, but don’t trust him on anything else.

  • Lori

    The thing about that 2nd one is that he’s not actually on my side now. He’s still on his side. My side is the side that believes things like “government can do good and help people”* and “there’s a reason they’re called civil rights, not civil if it’s OK with you”. His side is “I got mine, fuck you”. The Venn diagram of our sides simply happens to overlap on the issue of marriage equality because his son doesn’t currently “have his”.

    If DOMA repeal specifically and SSM in general comes down to a vote in Congress then I’ll be happy to have his vote and I’m not going to talk smack about him. However, I’m also not going to go too overboard praising him. He’s got the right position for the wrong reason and that wrong reason has implications for other positions and votes that are also important.

    One thing I think is worth noting—his son came out 2 years ago. Maybe he had trouble adjusting to the news and it has taken him this long to process it and come to fully accept it. That certainly happens in a lot of family. However, it’s also possible that he simply waited until the election was over and speaking out wasn’t likely to cost him much. I understand that too, but that doesn’t mean I find it praise-worthy.

    *I don’t believe that government always does good, I believe that it can and does do good. Not the same thing.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    Although, I think there’s a difference between that and examples that the except from the “Miss America Compassion” article mentioned. I actually don’t have a problem with people deciding to give more money to cancer research or (If they’re wealthy) build a new cancer treatment center or whatnot after a family member gets cancer. I mean, sure, it would be more empathetic if they’d done that before the family member got cancer, but there’s only so much time, money etc. to go around and I don’t think there’s a problem with choosing where (or even how much) to give based in part on personal experiences and thus personal interest in a given cause.

    However, it’s not the case that there’s only so much basic human rights to go around.

    So I think there’s a difference between developing interests in a particular causes based on a personal experience, and deciding who you’re going to agree is entitled to human rights based on personal experiences.

  • Lori

    I think this is true when it comes to making personal financial contributions or doing fund raising, but not so much for elected officials acting in their official capacity.

    I don’t think it’s any more excusable to believe that there should be government funding for research into X disease which you or someone dear to you has, while railing against spending that helps other people than it is to believe that minorities are only entitled to full civil rights if they are personally known to and loved by you.

    It’s all selfish and short-sighted and hypocritical and I’m never going to give much slack, let alone credit, for being selfish and short-sighted and hypocritical.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I’m not familiar with the examples mentioned. If someone says, “My spouse had Cancer X so I’m going to support funding for research into Cancer X (or Cancer more generally) but still try to cut funding for research into other diseases” than I agree with you.

    I don’t see anything wrong with a politician having pet cause that they’re especially interested in, though, as long as they’re not being a :bleep: in other ways. At least, I’m not going to be the one to tell a politician whose spouse died of cancer (for example) that it’s wrong to set out become a champion for research or health issues or cancer issues or whatever.

  • Lori

    Pretty much every Republican who has a pet cause is voting to support that pet cause while voting and/or advocating against spending that helps other people. If they weren’t voting against spending that helps other people they either wouldn’t be Republicans or they’d lose their next election and stop being lawmakers. IMO that’s being a ______ bleep of your choice.

    No one is telling a politician whose spouse died of cancer that it’s wrong to
    set out become a champion for research or health issues or cancer issues
    or whatever. What people are saying is that when you’re championing cancer research while refusing to even vote in favor of things that help other people’s loved ones you’re acting like an ass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I found the January post this reminded me so much of. Empathy is a long climb. Same thing all over again, senator has a stroke, and is suddenly all for stroke benefits of Medicaid.

  • AnonaMiss

    Obligatory note about the how the “sister, girlfriend or mother” framing still places a woman’s importance as being defined by her relationships to men.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    True. But one would think that even in this paradigm where women “belong” to men in some way, wouldn’t the frothy batshit types be able to mentally translate their frame of reference–

    Okay, who am I kidding? They have their heads up their asses.

  • Lori

    As part of a general discussion I think that’s absolutely true. I take a somewhat different view when talking about the actions and attitudes of some specific men, in that we’re talking about the sub-issue of their raging hypocrisy.

  • Becca Stareyes

    I was reading something at Shakesville this morning, about a politician who changed his stance on marriage equality when he learned his son was gay. Melissa pointed out that while she was glad the guy did change his mind, she was not glad that he only realized that his policy hurt people (and that that was BAD) when it hurt someone he was close to; that he was able to rationalize being hurtful and toxic to strangers because they were people he might meet once, at best.

    So I can believe that most of these men don’t think about how it would feel to be attacked, or to have a loved one attacked like this. Some of them might connect the dots if it did happen to a loved one, as the politician did; while others might compartmentalize about how they and their loved ones are different from ‘those people on the internet’.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Yeah, that’s in the link Lori posted. I’ve said it before too — they do have empathy, but it extends outward in rings with diminishing presence the further away one gets from the center, and some of them are twisted up to the point that “family” might have less empathy than “the tribe” (these are the folks who disown their children for coming out of the closet).

    Someone on the Internet? That’s about as far out of the circle as you can get.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    “Someone on the Internet” is a far closer circle than, say, “People I’ve never met or talked to”. Everyone has their limits on compassion, otherwise you’d be broke and paralyzed with indecision. It’s just that some people are TOO limited.

    I’ll admit having a lot more compassion for someone if I just talk to them for even a sentence or two, even over the internet, rather than if they’re abstract entities. I can’t care about thousands of war dead in Iraq as much as I can care about one FB friend from Baghdad who posts once in a blue moon, frex.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Well, as far out of the circle as you can get without being unable to interact with them entirely, perhaps. :p

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I mean, wouldn’t they just explode in absolute frothing rage if someone told their sister something like that?

    Well obviously, that would be different.

    Oh would you look at that, disqus no longer honors the <em> tag.

  • banancat

    These men shouldn’t stop rape threats just because the woman is some other man’s property sister, girlfriend, or mother. Appealing to their empathy to identify with the male who owns the victim doesn’t really get very far. If another man did this to his property, he’d probably just be chivalrous and hurt the man to defend his honor. But when he does it to another woman, then it’s her owner’s problem for not effectively protecting her. You have it pretty backwards.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I didn’t say I understood the paradigm very well.

  • Lori

    I have got to learn when not to read the comments. The ones about the 6th grade girl who wants to play football are exactly what you would expect and that’s depressing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    I’m especially baffled by the complaint about how they would need to have a separate locker room as though this is some new, burdensome expense. Do the schools where the games take place not have any kind of sports or physical education for girls? The separate locker rooms presumably already exist.
    I believe it was around 6th grade when my oldest niece began playing football. I’m sure she had to put up with a lot of crap, but for the most part it seems like it went pretty well, and she was viewed as a valuable member of the team, with no major objections to her from players or fans. Certainly the coach was supportive at least – she hadn’t intended to continue playing once she started high school, but he persuaded her to do it.
    Unfortunately, she ended up getting injured in her first season in high school and had to quit.

  • Lori

    Good for your niece and the people around her. I’m sorry that she got hurt. That’s never good and it’s especially disappointing when an injury forces you to quit something rather than you being able to decide when you’re ready to stop.

    As for the locker room issue, you’re exactly right. Those kids are not playing anywhere that doesn’t already have a girls locker room, because gym class. But apparently a team has to all change and shower in the same room or it’s the apocalypse or something.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “Since an appearance on Hannity on Tuesday [Zerlina Maxwell has] basically been under an escalating online assault filled with racist epithets and threats of rape all for stating what I think is a fairly straightforward opinion on the intersecting issues of guns and rape.”

    And this. What on Earth is wrong with people? Why do some men get so batshit frothingly ragey over what women say?

    PS. I am grudgingly impressed at the fact that Fox News actually put a woman of color on their show. I wonder if all the criticism about Fox News acting to purposely slant the political discoursein the USA is finally having an effect.

  • Lori

    You are a nicer person than I am. I’ve been wondering if Fox put Maxwell on the air precisely because they knew it would be throwing red meat to their base. I don’t think they purposely wanted things to get as bad as they have gotten, but I do think they fully expected her to get their viewers all stirred up.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I was considering that possibility, too, but I think you’re right. I should be more cynical about Fox’s ratings chases.

  • Carstonio

    They must know their viewers better than I do. From her statement below, I would have expected hateful reactions from only a tiny minority of men, because her point seems sensible to me. And I wouldn’t have expected The Blaze or the Washington Times to label her argument as bizarre.

    http://feministing.com/2013/03/07/telling-women-to-get-a-gun-is-not-rape-prevention/

  • stardreamer42

    She had the nerve to suggest that More Guns weren’t the answer to every problem. What did you expect to have happen?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Not really. Fox has been trying to pretend that they care about minorities for about a year now. I don’t really buy it when they haven’t particularly changed their rhetoric about minorities at all.

    Their coverage of the sequester can be summarized as “Obama is shutting down White House tours! How can he be allowed to get away with this tragedy? How will people live without the local tourism? The sequester needs to end immediately before irreparable damage is done to the White House hallways by lack of pedestrian contact! This kind of war on the economy can not be tolerated—oh by the way the Republicans slashed all the programs for the poor—in a just society and we must join everyone in standing up and demanding that the tours be reinstated as soon as possible!”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    This dreadful focus on trivial minutiae while ignoring a much bigger problem – there’s a name for that and I wish I knew what the word was (not “nitpickiness”, it doesn’t quite render the concept) – seems to be characteristic of the mindset of the average Republican politician.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    “Missing the forest for the trees” is all that comes to mind, but I think it’s just part of a long, winding pattern of pretending that issues that affect people not in a position to do anything about it don’t actually happen.

    The closest they come to acknowledging that things happen to the vulnerable is to miss the point and complain that the vulnerable aren’t doing their fair share to fix their own problems (in other words, victim blaming).

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    This dreadful focus on trivial minutiae while ignoring a much bigger problem

    I thought “scrupulosity” but that’s not quite it.

  • aunursa

    I am grudgingly impressed at the fact that Fox News actually put a woman of color on their show.

    Yeah. Aside from frequent guests Tara Dowdell, Tanya Acker, Deneen Borelli, Angela McGlowan, Brigitte Gabriel, and Michelle Malkin (to name a few) … Hannity and O’Reilly NEVER invite any minority women. (Perhaps the latter ones don’t count as bona fide minorities … because they offer conservative perspectives?)

  • Donalbain

    Not relevant.. but didnt we discuss this before? Fred, please turn off the threading!

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    If he could, I am sure he would.

    Damnit Disqus.

  • Lori

    He can’t turn off the threading. It’s part of the Disqus “upgrade”. Unless Disqus decides to give that control back to the user there’s nothing Fred can do.

    I certainly hope he’s complaining vigorously about it (I know other bloggers who are), but for the moment he can’t do anything about it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    It’s not Fred’s fault. Disqus put out a new version…Threading is default now and there’s no way to turn it off. There’s a discussion of the new badness here, with links to more discussion: http://bit.ly/ZFCftM

  • Donalbain

    Fuck.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yeah. Pretty much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    There’s an option in the Disqus tools – if you click on the gear icon – to send feedback to them. Not sure it will do any good, but it couldn’t hurt.

  • P J Evans

    Feedback sent.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ditto.

  • aunursa

    Is there a way to see a list of who liked [^] or disliked [v] a comment?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Not that I’ve read anywhere.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Damnit Disqus, I liked that feature!

  • stardreamer42

    Was there a way to see that before?

  • aunursa

    Sure: Just click on the [34 likes] and a list would pop up.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I don’t actually mind that part, but I’m not a fan of now having dislikes as well as likes.

  • aunursa

    Mr. Disqus, after very careful consideration, sir, I’ve come to the conclusion that your new commenting system sucks!

  • Cathy W

    Not just the threading – do we really need links to sponsored content at the end of our thread? That bugs me even more…

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Threading makes these discussions almost impossible.

    GRRRR….

  • misanthropy_jones

    who raised these men to believe that it is okay to treat someone (anyone, regardless of race, creed, gender or orientation) this way? what kind of families did they grow up in? who were their heroes?
    how does someone become such a hateful, spiteful, low-minded and mean-spirited waste of protoplasm?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I have to wonder about that too. How does a man grow up acting like this without fear of getting beaten up by his fellow men for making them look bad?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Too many of his fellow men are busy slapping him on the back and congratulating him for saying something awesome to the nasty woman.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Aw, did he prove his courage by anonymously insulting the scary little woman online? Wow, what big brass balls he must have to threaten someone for no advantage for or risk to himself. That is certainly showing people who is in charge! [/sarcasm]

    Seriously, guys like that remind me of Rayford Steele, thinking that their self-entitled sense of superiority is enough to force everyone to kowtow to them.

    I have never seen anyone act like this in the real world, presumably because in the physical realm you risk getting smacked for being an asshat. One of the other things Altemeyer observed about authoritarians (and such guys might not necessarily be them but some signs point to it) is this curious mixture of hostile aggression and cowardice. They get angry and vindictive when without individual risk, like in groups that outnumber their opposition or online, but get all submissive and meek when speaking up the same way might get them singled out. They want to do the singling out and punishing, but are terrified of being on the receiving end of it. It is disgustingly craven.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    That may be your privilege speaking, sadly. I see it all the time, but then again, I’m The Other. Trust me when I say they spare no expense to yell at me at every opportunity. Granted, they prefer to do so from the passenger side of a car, but across the street is common too.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Nah, I got some of that myself. Mostly in high school. Mostly because I had few friends and dressed well. Mostly because I took the bus on a long ride home while the rest of the students at this affluent-area public school carpooled in parent-bought SUVs. Groups of them were fond of shouting comments slanderous of what they imagined my sexual orientation to be as they drove out of the school parking lot right by my bus stop.

    Okay, I will concede it does happen in the physical space. But the “escape the consequences” clause is still present, they could just gun the accelerator and drive away laughing before any response could be forthcoming from me.

    The joke was on them though, they were not free of consequences. Their cars all had license plates, the school had a campus police officer with access to student family contact information, and I had a pencil and notebook… (^▽^)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I think the people doing it are mostly teenagers in high school, but I’m far from it. I just look different, act different, and that’s all they need to feel justified in yelling some particularly nasty shit.

    The one I’ve never particularly understood is the group that guns by (it’s always four kids in one vehicle) screaming “Get a life, fucker!” … uh? Projection much?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    At that stage, I think they are just slinging generic insults, as opposed to ones tailored to what they know or speculate about you and your situation. All they are trying to do is form a dominance ladder, of the kind used by many kinds of pack mentality beasts. Puff themselves up, put others down, sort things into a pecking order of who is above whom. They are desperately, terribly afraid of being the one on the bottom, so they try to put someone else there instead.

    Maybe this is my privilege talking, but I found, err, “direct intervention” tended to shut them up pretty quick. Grabbing a shirt-collar, pushing them up against a wall, and explaining that they will stop their unwelcome behavior tended to reduce future incidents. It was that craven thing again, they pick on someone if they think that they can dodge the consequences of doing so. When you show that there can be consequences regardless of other factors, they realize that you are not worth trying it with.

    Interestingly, I managed to preemptively stop them from future attempts to call me a “nerd” (as if that was some sort of insult) by dressing like, well, a nerd. I wore a tie and a pocket protector to school. Of course I am a nerd, and they look stupid(er) for pointing that out like it was something I was ashamed of, since by my cloths I am obviously not particularly ashamed of that state.

  • stardreamer42

    I am more than halfway convinced that part of the agenda behind Faux News is to create the real-life equivalent of Internet trolls… and it seems to be succeeding.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Posts like this don’t do much to convince me otherwise.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    (reply to aunursa)
    > your new commenting system sucks

    I’m now experimenting with ignoring the reply function altogether and just forcibly single-threading everything, with explicit tags and quotes to provide reference, and seeing whether that’s tolerable.

  • Cathy W

    Maybe useful, but possibly hard to train new users to do with the “reply” button just sitting there.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    The threading is lousy, but not being able to check back and seeing what people were replying to (as you could with the old Disqus) would also be a pain. Not sure which is worse (though I’m thinking the threading).

    The old system worked pretty well, I thought. Why did they have to mess with it?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The disadvantage of that is that whne you use the reply button, the person you’re replying to gets notified of your comment. That “My Disqus” tab at the top takes you to a page that rounds up all your comments and direct replies.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My interaction with Disqus is primarily via replying to emailed comment notifs. I have no idea how to use email to reply directly to a post.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Testing e-mail reply function…

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    How about that. I just hit Reply in my e-mail client (gmail specifically) and typed in my reply above the quoted text. I don’t know how to reply to the main post though, just to other replies.

  • EllieMurasaki

    My point precisely.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Disqus just delivered a Yo Mama joke to my inbox. ._.

    “7 things that are older than Ken Ham’s universe and So’s your mother.”

    As if we needed reason to hate it!

  • Baby_Raptor

    That’s horrible…And funny at the same time.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The trick of disabling disqus.com in NoScript or a similar Javascript whitelister will format the comments in flat-only mode, but it ruins your ability to comment, since you will have to turn it back on to do so.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Either Disqus has backed off a bad change in record time  (if so: Dear LJ. Learn!) or the Safari in Mac 10.6.8 doesn’t support the new format, because it’s normal here.

    I don’t *want* to have to run a virtual machine in order to comment on a thread, but seriously, it’s so bad I’ll do it if I must.

  • Lori

    It must be a Safari issue because sadly Disqus has thus far shown no signs of giving a crap what users think of the new version. I suspect that figure they can just wait us out and we’ll all stop complaining sooner or later.

    I’m more stubborn than that, so if they don’t do something about the threading and up/down arrows I suspect I’ll be lobbying for a new commenting system.

  • banancat

    Is there a competitor to Disqus? I would like to see the blogosphere just drop the whole damn thing and move onto something else, but I don’t know of any other widespread commenting system. I mean, this threading is ridiculous but really just the worst in a long, long, line of Disqus problems. I’m tired of giving them more chances.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The other thing is that Fred moved off Typepad and onto Disqus precisely because Disqus would pay him some money for the writing he does.

    Is there any competitor that would pay him as much, or more? I don’t know.

  • Lori

    Disqus doesn’t pay Fred, Patheos does. Which, now that I think about it, probably means that Fred has zero control over which commenting system is used here.

    In the past I’ve actually been pretty patient with Disqus, even when it irritated me, because no commenting system is perfect. That’s over. I now officially hate them.

  • stardreamer42

    Am I the only person here who actually prefers threaded comments? Maybe it’s my Usenet background talking, but I’ve always disliked having responses be pages away from the thing they’re responding to.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    It’s not much good if you want to follow a post in chronological order. If you don’t subscribe to a thread, it’s going to be near-impossible to keep up with new posts.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CUJHSQSQYTYT4DPZSKTVESYNQ B

    I’d like it better if it threaded comments, had a top view that showed all the threads with titles, and kept track of what you’re already read. Ideally it could also automatically take you the posts on a thread you hadn’t already read yet, the way forums generally work.

    But without the feature that shows you which threads have replies and can take you to them automatically, I think the threaded view is a lot harder to follow then the non-threaded view (especially when you could at least hover to see the last post someone was replying to, like you could in the old Disqus format).

    I hand out on the Washington Post comments board for a couple of comments and I know that when they switched to a threaded view, there developed a tendency for conversations to end after a very short period of time because no one was going to scroll back through pages and pages of comments just to see if someone had made an interesting reply on an older thread.

  • Madhabmatics

    This.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    If any web-based threading system came even close to what Usenet clients could do, I’d like threading too. LJ just barely begins to come close with their new “new comment” marker.

    But we’ve had discussions go up to 10 pages with replies to comments on all the pages and at that point threading becomes useless.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    For that matter, by having all the comments load on a single page, it’s harder to get at a post without knowing its exact URL — and for that matter, the URL doesn’t always help either. When I click the “reply to this” button in my e-mail notifications, sometimes it just loads the first few posts.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The biggest thing is that Usenet readers have developed ways of following threads because of the automatic reply-quote function. Here, we don’t have that and manually quoting *is* actually a hassle.

    “B” makes the salient points for other aspects of why this shouldn’t be a Usenet-like comment structure.

  • Madhabmatics

    I hate nested comments because if I respond to a conversation that happened six hours ago, only nerds are going to go back through six hours worth of comments to see my response. Likewise if I post something and someone responds I will never see it unless I feel like clicking the “LOAD MORE COMMENTS” like eight times to see if anyone has responded.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    The thing about usenet was that a decent newsreader would only show you the posts you hadn’t already read until you picked an article you wanted to read.

  • The_L1985

    I like the date-posted system because sometimes I check back in to a comment thread, and it’s easier to see what’s been posted since I was last there. Really, both views are useful to different people.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    (reply to stardreamer42)

    Am I the only person here who actually prefers threaded comments?

    I find that threading establishes the convention of lots of individual well-defined mostly-unrelated discussions, rather than one large ill-defined discussion.

    I actually prefer the former myself, but the slacktivist community has previously expressed a collective preference for the latter, and I endorse supporting that.

  • LL

    Yeah, don’t read the comments of any news site. They will make you wish that the next giant asteroid doesn’t miss earth and puts an end to us the way that one 66 million years ago ended most of the dinosaurs.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I worked at the Seattle Times a couple of years ago. The comment system there made me wonder if some people had nothing better to do with their time but make angry comments.

    I suggested that they limit comment privileges to only people who were also subscribers to the newspaper as a way of increasing subscription value and cutting off the idiocy at the same time.

    Sadly they did not take my suggestion.

  • Lunch Meat

    If they don’t give back the option to unthread comments, I am just not going to spend as much time in the comment section. I follow too many blogs to waste time reading through any comment thread more than once to see if I missed a reply. There’s no way to have a conversation unless I subscribe to the whole thing. (And no, Disqus, you are not ever at all getting my email.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    You will be missed :(

  • http://timfall.wordpress.com/ Tim

    I’ll go against the flow here and actually comment on your post: Love the excerpts and how they provoke me to think. Here’s another take on how people misapply Prover31: http://timfall.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/modern-parenthood-and-the-myth-of-the-proverbs-31-woman/
    Cheers,
    Tim


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