s skippy the bush kangaroo: shorter kos: come on, gals! take it like a man!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, April 13, 2007

shorter kos: come on, gals! take it like a man!

markos weighs in on kathy sierra, the techie blogger who has been anonymously harrassed to the point of cancelling professional appearances out of fear for her own safety.

we, for obvious reasons, will not link to the markos post today which, in effect, calls for whiny girls to stop crying because they have to deal with inconsequential things like death threats and stalking and violence on the web and off. but we will link to all the little gals we know who might have an opinion about markos and his 19th century view points:

lindsay of majikthise:

as markos says, a lot of bloggers get abusive email. i know i do. several times a year, i emails from people who say they hope i die, or express other similarly vague pro-attitudes towards my demise.

legally, those are threats. i forward those to the fbi and the isp of the sender. i'm not the least bit scared, but man, do those threats make me angry. these shmucks are trying to intimidate me. it doesn't work, and i take great satisfaction in creating a paper trail.

it's just as illegal to threaten someone by email as it is to call them or send them snail mail. if we chide people for taking email threats seriously, we're coddling their abusers. threats should have consequences, regardless of the medium used to deliver them…

i'm so tired of hearing the "every blogger gets threats" canard. empirically, it's all too true. but that logic cuts both ways. kathy sierra is a veteran blogger. she's probably gotten her share of low-grade abusive email over the years. if she's saying that she finds this latest round of threats credible, chances are that she perceives a qualitative difference between run-of-the-mill angry letters and the sexual humiliation campaign being waged against her by a handful of highly committed sickos.

in general the person who is best-situated to appraise the threat is the target, in consultation with police and other authorities. that's what kathy sierra did, and she got vilified for her trouble.

maha of mahablog:

this is not to be shrugged off. misogyny, like racism, is pervasive in our culture, and there are plenty of violent men who need very little encouragement to take their rage out on a woman who has been singled out as worthy of punishment.

i agree with kos that the inane “blogger code of conduct” is not going to stop what happened to kathy sierra. but that doesn’t mean we should shrug it off. very often men who assault women — and whites who assault blacks — feel they are justified in doing so. and they interpret expressions of misogyny and racism in our culture and among their peers to be permission. but “boys will be boys” is no excuse, and neither is “idiots will be idiots.”

that’s why i’m glad to see the recent backlash against don imus. about time. racist and sexist rhetoric does real damage and can sometimes escalate into something worse. hatemongers will push their hostility further and further, rhetorically and physically, until they are stopped. and in my experience the one thing that really does make them pause is overwhelming public disapproval. if they get a clue that the society they live in is not, in fact, winking and nodding at them that their bigotry is acceptable, the bigots will at least be more circumspect about their bigotry.

natasha at pacific views:

now the democrats, you will remember, are a political party that depends hugely on the goodwill of female voters to get into office. they also depend on the votes of disaffected republican women, perenially outraged when they discover that, holy canoli batman!, *their* state's republicans weren't kidding about wanting to outlaw abortion and go after their ability to get the pill, either. markos has long seemed to wish that this just wasn't the case anymore, and that the democrats could get elected solely by appealing to angry libertarian males.

well, too frakking bad.

every time this happens, every time he marginalizes feminist concerns, he pushes people away from daily kos who absolutely should be part of the dialogue of a strong progressive movement. every time, he makes them feel like their concerns aren't welcome. i've watched it over and over. i love that community, and i love having a place to go for my daily news that focuses on substantive concerns and promotes intelligent discussion. and it irritates me no end that many people whose voices i've come to value over the years no longer feel comfortable there.

to me, that means that the community they're building there is weaker than it could be. less connected than it could be. not quite the ringing clarion call for justice that it might yet become.

is that too overwrought for you? too sodding 'hysterical?' again, too bad. this past week, i've just about had it up to here with hearing women put down that way to marginalize their points and concerns...

get a thicker skin. hunker down. learn to defend yourself. don't antagonize people. don't crave acceptance so much. be more confrontational. she was asking for it. yeah, whatever. as many of the responses to this have noted, this doesn't happen to men. not like this. they do not routinely get threatened with rape. they don't get as many threats. nobody's been telling them since they were little children that there are an awful lot of things they have to do to keep themselves from being physically violated in public, in private, in churches, in schools, at work, in buildings late at night, when walking down the street, while walking in the woods, when going to the park, in parking lots, at parties, at concerts, when you're alone, when going on dates, while going out with friends of the opposite sex, in bars, when taking cabs, in your own home, in nightclubs, at sporting events, while jogging, when wearing the clothes all the perfect fashion models and actresses wear, when your blouse is too low, when your skirt is too high, when your clothes are too tight, when you're wearing sexy shoes, when you've got on too much makeup, when you look good, when you're wearing shorts, while breaking up, if you're too nice, if you're too bitchy, if you flirt too much, if you draw too much attention to yourself, when visiting an ex, on becoming a public figure, when getting into a male-dominated field, while near construction sites, near waterfronts, at amusement parks, when getting into your car, et-frakking-cetera.

are you getting the picture yet? is there a single man reading this post that's grown up taught to be at least a little afraid of every place that he could conceivably show his face, because someone might assault him? no. if raised in the u.s., not unless he were black and grew up when lynchings were common.

jill at brilliant at breakfast, en toto (and dorothy, too!):

look, i'm as opposed to "blogger speech codes" as anyone else. but saying that a woman tech blogger who has received e-mail threats of violence and death is the same as kos receiving an e-mail wishing death from aids to all liberals just shows how little he gets it -- and it's emblematic of how men just don't understand the kind of shit that women bloggers have had to deal with. it isn't just kathy sierra, it's amanda and melissa and joan walsh any number of others. i chalk the fact that i haven't had to deal with it to low readership and being on the shady side of 50 -- both of which may be dubious blessings, but blessings nonetheless.

that kos has a brand-new baby daughter and he's still adhering to this kind of swaggering macho bullshit, this "if you can't stand the rough stuff, stop playing in the boys' clubhouse" attitude, is deplorable. let's see what happens when his new daughter is receiving emails from boy is on myspace home and she’s been ignoring in middle school.

blue gal:

aw jeez, kos, not only do you have the awesome burden of being president-for-life of the internet's most rowdy frat house, now you've got a buncha uppity dames riding your ass. sucha pain, especially during that time o'the month. lucky you, i found out about this on the exact one day out of each 28 that i would be happy to kill everyone in the whole fucking universe.

amanda at pandagon:

even assuming that 99% of the wacked-out misogynists spilling violent fantasies at real women online don’t have the wherewithal to follow through, there’s always that 1%. once glance at the statistics involving terrorism against doctors who perform abortions should put to rest doubts that some men are so invested in preserving male dominance they’ll gladly resort to terrorism. it does well to remember that for a lot of men, hating women is all they have.

the truth of the matter is that law enforcement does have reason to believe that these kinds of guys can turn dangerous. it does well to remember that john hinckley was obsessed like this and did manage to go so far as to shoot the president. not that i blame jodie foster or anyone for that, but once in awhile men with these obsessions do go off the deep end and it isn’t always easy to tell who it’s going to be.

echidne of the snakes:

but women get those idiotic emails even if they don't blog. even if they just comment on blogs. even if they are silent, as in the recent study of web harassment which showed that just having a female user name increased the number of malicious messages by a multiplier between six and twenty-five…

but there is a whole slew of crime statistics on misogynistic harassment, rape and worse in the real world. there is very little that can be compared with that in terms of real-world attacks against controversial male bloggers. women may be justified in taking threats of harm more seriously than men, just because of this.

bitch, phd:

and let's get something straight: what needs to happen isn't that the recipients of death threats need to shrug them off. what needs to happen is that those of us who have a fairly weighty online presence need to say, in no uncertain terms, that threats and harassment and sexism and racism and homophobia and all that other offensive shit is flat-out unacceptable, both in real life and online.

the best way to make that clear isn't to tell victims, publicly, that "if they can't handle it" they should quit blogging. nope. instead, those of us who provide readers with opportunities to respond--in blog comments, or on online forums, or in chat groups--need to make sure we come down hard on assholes who use those opportunities to hassle, harass, or threaten people (including us). for god's sake, don't make excuses for them by pretending that they're some kind of force of nature, like an earthquake, that we can't do anything about. because we can, if we shut them down when they show up.

and if we don't "have time" to manage our own commenters (or forum members, etc.) then we don't have time to blog. if we run forums or chat groups or blogs but don't have time to read what people say--well, maybe we should try another line of work.

chris clarke, not a gal, but still astute, of creek running north:

i got additional death threats due to my writing a column for the contra costa times. it was a garden column. it wound up reprinted, in part, at an odious racist xenophobe website, and several yahoos emailed me to offer to come to my door and make my teeth look more like their mothers’. sorry, kos, i didn’t save those emails so that i could “produce” them for you: i foolishly neglected to realize that someone i’d never heard of back then might appoint himself arbiter of whether there really is an eliminationist tendency on the right. silly me.

i don’t know why markos has such trouble thinking that people might get actual death threats. the threats came at green activists before the advent of blogging, and that nature of the net makes such threats all the easier. kos says that “crying bloggers” don’t produce the actual threats to his satisfaction, raising two questions:

1) how do you “produce” a phone call?
2) did kos suddenly join law enforcement, granting him the right to access to possible criminal evidence prior to a trial?

here’s my take. activists often get death threats when people who support the status quo find those activists effective. kos does not believe death threats exist, never having seen one. drawing of the obvious conclusions has been left as an exercise for the reader.
marybeth at wampum has a fine line up of links about the subject. and, in a related pie fight, jersey cynic at blondesense points out that respected international cartoonist ben heine was first invited to blog at dkos and then the next day banned from dkos for being anti-semitic. so apparently, the parameters of progressive thought are very narrow over there at the big orange.

conclusion? we have known for sometime that markos finds womens' issues and feminism uninteresting and unimportant, much like he looks upon minority rights, gay/lesbian rights, voting integrity and 9/11 investigations. he is now focused on winning elections for democrats. which, considering he has no use for the above-mentioned topics in his political agenda, should be damn near impossible, and he would know that, if he was anywhere close to being connected with reality.

credit where credit is due: not once in this whole post did we have a chance to write the words, "and to a lesser extent, duncan."

addendum: feminazi, commenting over at echidne's blog, asks this question:

i sent a email to http://www.mothertalkers.com/contactusasking them why they support misogynists through advertising. why don't you do the same?
good idea!

Labels: ,

posted by skippy at 5:33 PM |


You know I am loathe to link to the orange place, but this time I think it's worth it--please recommend Steven D's diary.
commented by Blogger Renee in Ohio, 7:49 PM PDT  
It's been said that success functions more as a truth serum than anything else -- it brings to the surface what was always lurking underneath. This has certainly proven true with Markos. He finally managed to get inside the gate, but then he locked it behind him. King Bastard was absolutely right about him.

I still link to the Daily Kos. I just don't know why...
commented by Blogger Mimus Pauly, 11:46 PM PDT  
ruh-oh - methinks some more deletions to the dailykos blogroll are coming up...
commented by Anonymous George, 2:44 AM PDT  
I recommend checking out this essay by tbrucegodfrey
Take Back the Blog! March
commented by Blogger Renee in Ohio, 5:41 AM PDT  
Daily Kos is not on my reading list anymore.
This post was frigging ridiculous.
(Actually he hasn't been for a long time but this reiterates that I made a good decision to back away from the Kos.)
commented by Blogger 'Coma, 8:11 AM PDT  
Oh, why can't we just all cowboy UP!
I employ Lindsey's approach of forwarding threats to the FBI. If one feckless drooling fucktard misses his plane, I have struck back in a very real way.

When the truly mendacious losers start spamming my threads - I POST their IP numbers and locations.

Fuck with me, asshole. Everything you have heard about redheads is not only true - it's understated.
commented by Blogger --Blue Girl, 12:43 PM PDT  
except Duncan started "Mars, bitches!" and that has spread all over the lefty net. That needs to stop, too. It isn't funny anymore, and it isn't cute, either.
commented by Blogger Scorpio, 2:14 PM PDT  
credit where credit is due: not once in this whole post did we have a chance to write the words, "and to a lesser extent, duncan."

Goddammit, Skippy, that's my first deep throaty laugh of the day. I gotta get out more.

Thanks for the digest and for including me. xoxoxo
commented by Blogger Blue Gal, 3:15 PM PDT  
I don't even post my e-mail address on my blog. Anyone who wants to communicate with me can do so via the comments section and I only give out my e-mail addy if someone asks. (I use a Yahoo account.)

DailyKos still continues to have a lot of feminist diaries and Kossacks have continued to call Kos on his asinine reponse. Basically, the guy is dead wrong.

However, there's one additional reason why Kos doesn't "get it," and that's a lack of perspective. He's an Army veteran. He has probably learned to kill people. He is also an experienced activist and political blogger and, as a result, is thick-skinned. So of course he's not going to "get" why another blogger might be terrified over death threats and hateful e-mails...and even her personal information being posted online. So I see his response not just as cluelessness but an inability to see things from the perspective of a tech blogger whose only experience to violence is probably a first-person shooter game.
commented by Blogger The Truffle, 3:39 PM PDT  
Who is sarahrxpkatherine?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:37 PM PDT  
very informatife , back soon
commented by Anonymous womantech, 4:06 AM PST  

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