Thus Spake Zuska

A Brief Refresher

Maybe it’s not a bad time to repost the link to this post, and to requote this snippet from it:

When the topic at hand is men not taking an issue seriously, suggesting that the issue might not really be all that serious is not being dispassionate. It is, in fact, taking a side. And the people on the side you’re taking, incidentally, include the gropers, the rapists, the sexual-favor-demanding bosses.

Thanks to Jane for reminding me of that excellent post.


  1. #1 Liz
    May 1, 2007


    Adding Thus Spake Zuska to my blogroll momentarily.

  2. #2 Benjamin Franz
    May 1, 2007

    What you just engaged in is called poisoning the well.

    I thought better of you.

    But since this is your blog after all, I will, as your link suggests, “Shut the fuck up” and go elsewhere.

  3. #3 irony miner
    May 1, 2007

    Perhaps it’s also a good time to remind readers of the handy, time-saving, Universal Feminist Blog Comment Template.

    So far I see we have a #1 followed by a #9, a very common pattern.


  4. #4 tb
    May 1, 2007

    So it is simply impossible for someone to exaggerate an issue to provide an opportunity to stand on one’s soapbox. And to even suggest that an issue might be exaggerated is to be in league with rapists.

    There’s dispassion for you.

  5. #5 Mecha
    May 1, 2007

    I had a slightly longer response… but with Benjamin being passive aggressive and not reading anymore, I’m going to reserve a shorter one, for tb (and considering how long this is, that tells you something!)

    tb: Sexual abuse, sexism, rape, etc… aren’t ‘dispassionate’ issues, especially not for the people they happen to. To be pithy, welcome to real life.

    To be less pithy, if your first response to a feminist pointing out a way that women are marginalized is to say ‘you’re being shrill/unreasonable’, _marginalizing_ them, you have _proven the global point_, and done so in an infuriating way. That is one of the big things that post is grasping at.

    It is actually possible to have a real discussion about such issues. But what that post is talking about tends to be a very bad approach.

    (Also, another tip, try not to argue about fairly established ideas, such as ‘bringing womens’ appearance into a discussion that isn’t about appearance is sexist, much like saying someone is a credit to their race/sex or reminding people that women = sexy thoughts, not science.’ It helps. Seriously. If he had said ‘black’ instead of ‘attractive’, would anyone sane be arguing the relevance and racist undertones? What’s skincolor got to do with the topic? About as much as attractiveness. Yeesh. Anyway. Aside.)


  6. #6 tb
    May 2, 2007

    Mecha, I think we’re writing about different things (perhaps because I didn’t read through several layers of links for context.)

    I took the word “issue” in the sense of an occurrence or incident (e.g., someone making a remark about someone’s appearance), not in the sense of the “issue” of sexual discrimination, racism, etc.

    With respect to the first sense of the word, I don’t believe it is “taking a side” to question the severity or even the existence of what is claimed to be an offense. Because simply stating that an offense has occurred does not necessarily make it so.

    With respect to the latter sense of the word, I agree that to suggest that the issue might not really be all that serious is indeed to take a side (the wrong one).

  7. #7 Lab Cat
    May 2, 2007


    I love Chris’s post. He says something I’ve been saying for ages to any men who give me the chance.

    Benjamin – Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

    tb – If some one perceives an offense then an offense has occurred. It does not matter what any one else thinks.

  8. #8 antijen
    May 3, 2007

    Funny how it doesn’t take much to “overreact”, does it? Point out that sexism exists? Overreacting. Point out that a comment, while seemingly innocent in isolation, is part of a larger, problematic pattern? Overreacting. Some people seem to think that feminism is fine in theory, but always seem to have a problem with any given concrete example.

  9. #9 tb
    May 3, 2007

    If some one perceives an offense then an offense has occurred. It does not matter what any one else thinks.

    Offense, as in violation? I couldn’t disagree more. If I am denied a job promotion and “perceive” it to be racial discrimination, that doesn’t make it so. In fact, my feeling/perception about the matter is irrelevant. The actions and intentions of the person who denied the promotion are what matter. Conversely, if I were indeed denied a promotion due to racial discrimination, it would be an offense even if I had no perception of it as such.

    I think I’ll conclude my participation in this thread now. And don’t worry, Cat, I’ll watch that door on my way out!

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