Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Can't Seem to Make My Blog a Safe Space for Men's Rights Activists*

Something that's tiring me out in various comments threads across the feminist blogosphere: Complaints that Hugo Schwyzer allows, even encourages, too much activity from men's rights activists (MRAs), at his blog.

These comments can't merely be made ON Hugo's blog, because he just doesn't get it!!! Maybe if we tell him on 3 or 10 or even 20 other blogs!!! Maybe then he'll listen to agree with us!!!

I have this little idea: Maybe, if you feel that way, you should read another blog.

I know what you're thinking: You're a feminist! And Hugo's a pro-feminist ostensibly writing a pro-feminist blog! Therefore, Hugo's blog should be a safe space for feminists and pro-feminists! NOT MRAs!


Maybe I just don't get it either, but here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking the internet is enormous and vast and has plenty of room for blogs that range all over the spectrum of tolerance. There are blogs that are password-protected and don't tolerate anything but fawning comments from a handful of trusted friends. There are sites like Slashdot that let their users set thresholds to filter out comments they don't want to see--fully customized tolerance of opposing opinions right there at your finger tips. There is a blog that exists to advance the radical feminist views of Twisty Faster. There is this blog, which exists to help me postpone chores and errands. It is called the world wide web for a reason.

Me personally, I don't want the kinds of guys who haunt Hugo's to come over here, and I probably wouldn't tolerate them to the extent that he does. But I'm glad someone draws these goofballs out of their safe spaces for men, holds them up to the light, and lets the rest of us recoil in disgust from their true natures. That's right: I'm making the "it's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it" argument. Because someone does, in my view, indeed have to do it. In a few minutes I'm going to sit down and transcribe dictation by women and men whose jobs include hot-biopsying polyps out of people's colons, because the alternative is to risk that they** grow. It really makes me angry. Here these polyps thought they had finally made themselves a Safe Space for Suspicious Growths but those gastroenterologists, I don't know, it's like they just don't get it!!!

So look, outraged internet feminists, a petite suggestion: Suppose you try laying off Hugo and making YOUR OWN BLOG a sooper-safe place for feminists. I won't complain. Hell, I'll probably read it. I probably already do.

*Sorry, The Onion.

**The polyps, I mean--not people's colons. Now wouldn't that be something!


Auguste said...

Heh. In my RSS reader the title of this post came out "I Can't Seem to Make My Blog a Safe Space for Men."

I was like, Should I be worried about something?

Medium Dave said...

Hello Ilkya, (sorry, I can't type "Fartles" more than once, and that was it) I followed a link to your post about Iraq, and then noticed the one on Hugo Schwyzer. I've been a sporadic reader (and more sporadic commenter) of his blog, and at one point I made an argument more or less like the one you've made: That he's performing a useful service by engaging the MRA's.

But I no longer think this is valid, because he does more than allow them to post... he takes them seriously, gives their arguments equal weight to those of feminists (he claims that he doesn't, and then he does it, over and over), and refuses to acknowledge a central truth about them: They're apologists for sexual abuse and violence. And there are actual rapists and abusers among them.

As long as he continues to refuse to fact this unpleasant fact, his thoughts on the MRA issue will be useless.