Thus Spake Zuska

Dang, That Makes Me Mad

I love being part of ScienceBlogs. I’ve gotten to meet a lot of my Sciblings in person by now and have generally found them to be wonderful people. Readers, I like them!

Except. I really don’t like the trash one of my Sciblings has been flinging around lately. Sooooo not cool. Details over at Isis’s pad. Sing it, sister!

When people go around saying stuff like this

I have been accused of not being on board because I don’t like the anger. At the same time I’m a progenitor of anger when I feel like doing it. I admit that the anger works, but I also feel that ally building is sometimes hampered by it. What bothers me most is when I see cliquish behavior overriding good strategy, and I laugh when I see Zuska and Isis in their new state of palpable but manageable tension.

and this

You have been scolded by The Borg. How annoying. I guess there were no interesting shoes that day.

Later, maybe you’ll laugh about it. In the mean time, you can reminisce about your days in high school, because Isis is pretty much that girl in high school who was so annoying.

and it goes unremarked upon, they get to thinking it’s perfectly fine with everybody for them to behave like poopyheaded morons. Why, they might even be so deluded as to think that a lot of people think exactly like they do. But they would be wrong.

It might be slightly less vomit-inducing to see Isis put down and infantilized in such a patronizing tone as “that girl in high school who was so annoying”, or to see that dialog between two feminists who don’t always agree on every point is something to be dismissed with laughter, if the person leaving the remarks would actually own up and sign his name to them. It’s ironic, considering how vociferously Mr. Laden has spoken against pseudonymous commenters on his own blog.

Comments

  1. #1 Isis the Scientist
    February 10, 2009

    Thank you, Zuska. I find the largest source of irony to be that Laden is someone who has frequently claimed to be an advocate for gender/racial diversity. That he could be so blatantly condescending coupled with not posting under the name he blogs with is proof to the contrary.

  2. #2 ScienceWoman
    February 10, 2009

    The second comment (from Samia’s blog) is just too much. He either doesn’t know that what he’s saying is horrible (despite frequently claiming to be an ally) or he doesn’t care. Either way, a well-deserved puking.

  3. #3 Hope
    February 10, 2009

    Say what you like about his comments, but to accuse him of sockpuppetry or not posting under his real name is ridiculous. All anyone had to do was click on “Name Withheld Out of Fear” and the link took you right to his blog. I thought it was a joke (the “Name Withheld…” bit), since he mentioned The Borg.

  4. #4 Sam Wise
    February 10, 2009

    OK, I just stumbled across this whole tempest-in-a-teapot. Mind if I remark on how this whole evolving mess looks from the outside?

    It seems to be a case where the interpersonal nature of the internet (no “body English,” no tone of voice, etc.) has resulted in a misunderstanding growing into a cycle of escalating anger and retribution that has expanded from the original two parties to increasing ugliness on the part of three (or four?) bloggers now. If I’m not missing something, you’re all (you, Samia, Isis, Laden) writing (ostensibly) science-related blogs; maybe it would be better to be aiming at rationality rather than righteous rage?

    I know none of you have asked for my advise, but I don’t think the current situation is doing anything but getting the four of you stirred up. There’s a lot of stupid in this world, maybe we (all science-related bloggers) should concentrate on fighting it, rather than each other…

  5. #5 ScientistMother
    February 11, 2009

    I’m not sure I give a rats ass about the fact he used the name withheld title, but his comments are just plain stupid and ignorant.

  6. #6 ogunsiron
    February 11, 2009

    Lol ,
    always entertaining to see self congratulating white male “allies of the struggle of POC(tm) and Differently Abled Womyn(tm)” chewed up and spat out for the slightest and most frivolous reasons. Those useful idiots don’t understand that in any conversation with the “underpriviledged”, they’re wrong and always wrong (except of course when the “underpriviledged POC” in question is seen as supporting the system. Then the self congratulatory enlightened diversity promoting white male ally has the rare opportunity to tongue lash a POC, lol)

  7. #7 TheEngima32
    February 11, 2009

    [q]Those useful idiots don’t understand that in any conversation with the “underpriviledged”, they’re wrong and always wrong[/q]

    I’m not sure if you’re going after all white males or just ones like Laden. It get from the sense of your post you’re going after all white males – and if you are (if you’re not, I apologize before hand) guess what? That makes you just as bad as him. It’s wrong, regardless who you are, what sex you are, what race you are, to paint with a broad brush. It does *nobody* justice. It’s just adopting the same mentality. You hurt yourself and everyone involved doing that. No. I don’t agree with what he said. I find it immature. I enjoy reading Isis’ blog as much as I enjoy reading the other blogs.

    When two sides adopt the same mentality, nothing gets accomplished. Yes, I am a white male in the eyes of society. But I’m also Cherokee and Comanche. So I can see; I know, at least from the racial aspect of it, what it’s like to be privileged. I’ve been working to end that all my life, but I’ll be damned if I’ve done anything more than piss into the wind. Call me “self-congratulatory”. That’s fine. Call me a “useful idiot.” That’s fine too. “Chew me up for any frivolous reason.” I’ve said what I’m going to say.

    Enigma

  8. #8 ogunsiron
    February 11, 2009

    TheEnigma32 :

    I was just remarking that even a white male like G. Laden who seems to put alot of effort into being an “ally” of the proverbial POC(tm) and the assorted differently gendered underpriviledged(tm) can expect to be crucified for the slightest reason by some “angry POC(tm)” who doesnt seem to think that “allies” should be treated with kindness.

    I’m just the kind of person who wouldn’t put up with behaviour like that from people that I’m trying to help , i guess :) Then again I’m so ideologically at odds with the crowd here that I probably don’t get it and can’t possibly get it (It all sems like nutcasery to me).

    For example , there’s this common idea found among the blogging “underpriviledged” : This idea that they don’t even have to explain ( their foolish ideas) to those of “priviledged” background who are most likely to be on their side and who’d love to be their “allies”. Basically, they don’t even care about having more allies, because “it’s not my job to educate white priviledged heterosexist white feminist fetishizing middle class suburbans” or something like that. That’s nutcasery :)

    I find it entertaining to read blogs such as this one and have been doing it for years. Again and again , especially on those ever wacky women of color(tm) blogs you get the crucifiction of the (usually some white gurl )white ally who just stands there crying and wondering what did they do again and if they can be forgiven, while the POC lecture her about how she’s owed nothing, leave our safe space, etc LOL
    I guess it makes sense to some people.

  9. #9 MissPrism
    February 11, 2009

    I’m just the kind of person who wouldn’t put up with behaviour like that from people that I’m trying to help , i guess :)

    Oh, fuck right off. All I’ve ever seen Angry Feminists or People Of Color ™ ask is that other people stop behaving like Complete And Utter Arseholes ™ toward them. This isn’t some super special “help” we should ask you nicely for then smile prettily if you grant it. It’s a minimum standard of decent human behaviour.

  10. #10 becca
    February 11, 2009

    Deja vu.
    “Suprise! Greg Laden is a hypocrite” = “Suprise! Bill O’Reilly is a hypocrite”

    Also- ogunsiron, I’d wager that the reason you percieve people to believe you to be wrong and always wrong when you talk to POC is exactly the same reason you are wrong and always wrong in other contexts- you are clearly a nitwit.

  11. #11 ogunsiron
    February 11, 2009

    I am myself what some would call a POC(tm) , though i’m the kind of poc that you’re allowed to strike at because i’m a so called “apologist” , so don`t hold back sister !:)
    I was talking about the bizarre way you guys treat your allies :)
    I wasn’t talking about my own interactions with your crowd.
    I rarely interact with it, just like i don’t interact or engage in long discussions with people who take astrology or mystic crystals seriously. I’d probably come across to them as “wrong” too, but who cares. Anyways, I`ll shut up and let you guys go back to your all-politics/no-science-at-all usual programming :)

  12. #12 Stephanie Z
    February 11, 2009

    Zuska, I ended up posting my comment in Isis’s thread, since that’s where I happened to be when I had a couple of minutes to comment. It’s unlikely to surprise you, since we’ve discussed benefit of the doubt before, but I think you do understand that I believe that applies to you as well as to Greg.

  13. #13 DaleP
    February 11, 2009

    Do you have any more information that “Name withheld…” is Greg, beyond the link to Greg’s website? Do you have an IP address, or an admission? A textual analysis, that this post is similar to statements you know are Greg’s? Anyone can link to a website. If no more information, I think the claim it is Greg is weak.

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    February 11, 2009

    This is very good for me. Every time we go around like this (this is what, the third or fourth time over the last year and a half?) about how to be a good feminist or anti-racist, or about pseudonymity/anonymity, with part of the conversation coming from Teh Angreee (TM), I get more accustom to it. It makes it a little easier to see where people are coming from without the personal reaction.

    And Zuska, thanks for bringing this up for discussion on your blog.

    The pseudonym/sock puppet thing is pretty clear. I’ve used that pseudonym for some time now, and I always link back to myself. I have always said that pseudonymity is just fine with me, I’ve noted that I’ve got a couple of them (one is Name Withheld Out of Fear) and I have no problem with people using them. However, I have stated in the past that I feel that people who use pseudonyms and also use the “Teh Angreee” trope risk making mistakes and doing things that transcend what would ideally happen because of this anonymity. I’ve never seen this with Zuska, BTW.

    My remarks about cliquishness and Isis stem from my interaction with her on her pre Sbling blog, in which I felt that she was passing approval or disapproval onto others, well within the framework of her Goddess persona, in a way that might have been amusing and might have been annoying. I found it annoying. It is just how I feel about it. I’m sorry, but I reserve the right to prefer The Indigo Girls ofer Perry Como and Bora or Stepanie Zvan over Isis. Isis is a studied character. There is not a rule that says that everyone has to like the Isis trope. Strongly defined and agressive (or grandiose, as in “I’m a goddess”) characters are not going to be universally liked. To assume or expect that is unrealistic and possibly inappropriate

    I do not expect Isis to NOT take offense at my comments. They were offered as critique and not everybody likes to hear critique. Maybe especially goddesses, I don’t know. They were part of a larger critique that I’ve made pretty clear, and that some people seem to be getting and agreeing with, some getting and not agreeing with, and some not getting and not agreeing with. That is how things go on the internet. People have different levels of interest and engagement and this plus variation in personal bias lead to people having different reactions to things.

    My critique, to restate it briefly, is this: I think that the communication process itself can step on the goals. The goals are noble. I think the Isis/Samia dust up was a matter of lack of understanding, and I think this sort of misunderstanding is more likely to happen when you have these thick thematic tropes overlying the process.

    That is my opinion. I reserve the right to have one.

    I also note that contrary to one comment made above, it is simply not the case that Zuska has ever puked on my shoes.

    Dale: It is me. As I say above, I’ve been using this pseudonym for some time. I suppose anyone could have put that link back in there, and that’s a good point. But it is me. This is no “an admission.” Forchristsakes.

    Onward.

  15. #15 the real cuckold
    February 11, 2009

    Oooh! Dang nabbit, that darn Greg! Someone oughta just stick a hi heel shoo up his arse, until he sqeels like the mens rights advocate that he is! He obviously hates da wiminsz and deir chilluns! We should kick him out of the village and let the real hyenas have their way wid him!
    Then, we could all just pre-castrate the alpha silverbacks before they get so damm beta, and wash each others buutz all day….

  16. #16 surprise surprise
    February 11, 2009

    Well well, if it isn’t Greg again putting his foot down his throat. A careful reading of his blog shows that he’s not above patronization and that he’s not quite as openminded as he thinks. Being openminded about women or minorities isn’t just about *thinking* you’re openminded or trying to be friendly… it’s trying to be productive instead of telling women their business and pretending it’s some sort of fair and evenhanded critique that you’re so kind to help us with. I love how white men feel the need to weigh in on things like they are of central importance to it. You’re right, you do have an opinion, and if you don’t like people’s reaction to it then you can also take it elsewhere.

  17. #17 Napoleon Dworkin
    February 11, 2009

    “Mr. Laden has spoken against pseudonymous commenters on his own blog.”
    Really?? Where?

    I am the most pseudonymynific one there, and I have never been censored…though he like anyone else has pet peeves. He is THE most egalitarian blogger at the borgbuttfest.

  18. #18 Nat
    February 12, 2009

    “Mr. Laden has spoken against pseudonymous commenters on his own blog.”
    Really?? Where?

    I am the most pseudonymynific one there, and I have never been censored…though he like anyone else has pet peeves. He is THE most egalitarian blogger at the borgbuttfest.

    You’re joking right?

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    February 12, 2009

    That sentence is ambiguous. It is actually impossible to be sure of the meaning, but if we take it literally, as it is written, “Laden has spoken against pseudonymous commenters” then it is a bald faced lie and makes me feel absolutely terrible. Seriously, I have never ever said a thing negative about people using pseudonyms (anonymous or otherwise) to comment on my blog or elsewhere.

    I have been critical of certain fallout that happens when anonymity is being used. I’m also critical (who isn’t) about how some people drive. But I’m not against anonymity or driving. I just feel that both can be misues or abused in their own way.

    Nat, while I honestly don’t feel that it is necessarily my job to put my position in a way that you or anyone else will effortlessly and perfectly understand, but I have made my position clear on a number of occasions. I’m starting to wonder if you are willfully being a bad listener!?!!?!? Please tell me it isn’t true!

  20. #20 Zuska
    February 13, 2009
  21. #21 DrugMonkey
    February 14, 2009

    Greg: I’m starting to wonder if you are willfully being a bad listener!?!!?!?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAHAHA!!!! that was more joviality right? oh the irony.

  22. #22 Larry Ayers
    February 16, 2009

    The ScienceBlogs community is rather like a household of siblings, and in any such households squabbles are likely to break out.

    I like reading Greg’s posts, Zuska’s,and Isis’s (although the whole shoe thing eludes my comprehension.)

    Now if you can’t get along I’m sending all of you to your rooms! I mean it!

    I’ll second Zuska’s recommendation of the Stemwedel post. Then chill out and read the Sprog-blogging post from last Friday!

  23. #23 Nat
    February 17, 2009

    People can go here and decide for themselves about Greg’s support for pseudonymity (and the comments below that).

    Nat, while I honestly don’t feel that it is necessarily my job to put my position in a way that you or anyone else will effortlessly and perfectly understand, but I have made my position clear on a number of occasions. I’m starting to wonder if you are willfully being a bad listener!?!!?!? Please tell me it isn’t true!

    Bring back the Jovial Greg, now with Even Less Condescension!