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Guest post: Feel free to reach out to me privately

Originally a comment by leni on You said it yourself, you’re a writer, not a diplomat.

One of my pet peeves is a lack of direct communication, if you’re a friend or a friend of a friend I wish that they would try to actually talk to me before making things a public issue

The most charitable reading of this is that Glenn means to say that the respectful response would be to don a wig and record a YouTube meta-parody of her position using questionable analogies. It’s pretty clear if you read far enough into the subtext and make some unfounded assumptions about her motivations. We don’t have to assume the worst, here.

This could be a real learning moment for you, Ophelia. Maybe it’s time you reconsidered your lack of ill-conceived parody videos.

If you ever change your mind about that and need some help with half-assed analogies involving animals and possibly submarines, feel free to reach out to me privately via Facebook or Twitter. Since you don’t actually know who I am, just send your message to Kevin Bacon. I’ll get the request eventually.

Comments

  1. Seven of Mine, formerly piegasm says

    This attitude reminds me of the whole JT Eberhard/Bria Crutchfield debacle last year where JT insisted it was super bad form to dress down a bigot where other people could hear. It’s like “I’ll just feel free to wave my ignorance around like a fucking flag with no regard for the consequences but, if you have any objection to what I say, you should take care to tell me about it in a manner which makes it easy for me to ignore with nobody being the wiser.”

  2. leni says

    Oh god lol.

    Also, Ophelia, you could have contacted me on LinkedIn to approve this post.

    I’m pretty sure Kevin Bacon uses it and I probably still have an account there, how hard would that have been?

    ***
    John-Henry Beck:

    Almost a work of art fitting so much in to three little paragraphs.

    That’s very kind. Although you probably would not have said that if you saw the 2-3 paragraphs about farty maritime vampires and werewolves that I “wisely” deleted.

  3. says

    Hearing about the deleted paragraphs makes me appreciate your post all the more. The delete button is the most underappreciated and underused button on the keyboard, and I am happy to learn that some people know about it and are ready and willing to use it.

  4. embertine says

    Hearing about the deleted paragraphs makes me want to read about farty maritime vampires, myself.

  5. Data Jack says

    Although this is somewhat amusing, and I understand it’s hyperbole for humor’s sake, this is actually the least charitable way to read what she meant, not the most. I didn’t agree with her first video (obviously), but I think it was mainly driven by naivete and misinformation, not malice.
    Nobody responded with, “hey, we aren’t really like that, though a lot of terrible people profit from perpetuating the notion that we are. Here’s what’s really going on…”
    I realize no one is obligated to respond this way, but I wish someone with a public platform had.

  6. deepak shetty says

    @Data Jack
    Nobody responded with, “hey, we aren’t really like that, though a lot of terrible people profit from perpetuating the notion that we are. Here’s what’s really going on…”
    I think the problem is that, that information is already readily available for everyone who really wants to find it .

  7. screechymonkey says

    DataJack @7:

    Nobody responded with, “hey, we aren’t really like that, though a lot of terrible people profit from perpetuating the notion that we are. Here’s what’s really going on…”

    But who’s supposed to make that response? This is another problem with attacks on vague unnamed strawpeople: it’s not clear who’s supposed to respond, and what they’re supposed to say. (Although some of us are pretty sure we know exactly who it’s directed at, according to your “charitable” interpretation that’s not possible.)

    It’s somewhat analogous to the problem many people had with Phil Plait’s “Don’t Be A Dick” speech. When you don’t provide any specificity to what constitutes being “a dick” or who is guilty of it, there ends up being so little substance that it’s hard for anyone to respond substantively. All you can do is point out the lack of substance — which is exactly what people have been doing in response to Glenn.

  8. tonyinbatavia says

    DataJack @7: The whole “most charitable” approach is a grand idea in theory, but you have to wonder why those who are always asked to deploy the most charitable reading — as you have done here — are always the ones who have just been vilified with the absolute least charitable reading of their views or, worse yet, complete fabrications of their views. And while naivete might explain the first video, you have to conclude malice after many, many people pointed out the straw in that video and she followed it up with more and more straw.

    So fuck charitable readings. Until she shows a willingness to be less than malicious in her interpretations, I will assume malice.

  9. Data Jack says

    @deepak shetty While I might not agree it is “readily available”, I definitely agree it is available. Unfortunately, so are all the lies and misinformation about “our side”. Maybe more so, because “their side” has active campaigns and channels in place to spread their dishonesty.

  10. says

    The whole “most charitable” approach is a grand idea in theory, but you have to wonder why those who are always asked to deploy the most charitable reading — as you have done here — are always the ones who have just been vilified with the absolute least charitable reading of their views or, worse yet, complete fabrications of their views. And while naivete might explain the first video, you have to conclude malice after many, many people pointed out the straw in that video and she followed it up with more and more straw.

    Plus, if someone does do the most charitable “we aren’t all like that” approach, the original vilifiers just says oh I didn’t mean you, and then the “most charitable” responder has no real way to follow up (say, pointing out that the vilifiers certainly was wrong) without being accused of being nasty to someone who oh so certainly wasn’t talking about them. And they can just continue this bullshit until every single feminist in the world has personally responded in the “most charitable” way before anyone gets to point out that the vilifiers is spouting straw mixed with bullshit.

  11. Data Jack says

    You are *always* asked to respond in the most charitable way? To everything? Is this you personally, or a collective you, a group you belong to? Either way, I am glad I in no way contributed to it, as I asked nothing of you.

  12. Data Jack says

    I’m not sure who should have made that response (or even what that response should have been).
    It just seemed to me most responses to her were “you are wrong, and therefore an anti-feminist hater”, and no responses were “you are misinformed, here’s why”. I can see that this approach would be pointless to employ with our “long time enemies”, but that is not the case here.

  13. screechymonkey says

    Data Jack @14:

    I’m not sure who should have made that response

    I nominate you. Since you’re the one who’s so insistent that this is the right approach, I hereby designate you as the person responsible for providing gentle, corrective, assume-the-most-charitable-interpretation responses to ignorant straw-person diatribes.

    I look forward to seeing your work.

  14. says

    So, wait, Data Jack – you think it’s a good idea, but only good enough for you to tell someone else that they ought to be doing it. Not a good enough idea that you’d actually do it yourself?

  15. Data Jack says

    I don’t recall telling anybody that they ought to be doing anything.
    Also, I am not “someone with a public platform”.

  16. tonyinbatavia says

    To screechymonkey’s point @20:

    Let’s see, Googling free blogging sites … there’s WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Weebly, Squarespace, Typepad … crimoly, there are a ton more. Here’s the kicker: Each of them are connected to this thing they call the Interwebs, which means — get this — you can publish your own thoughts and opinions on your very own public platform. Careful, though. It might take you a whole ten minutes to set it up. But if you invest all that time, Data Jack, you can do what you claim not one single other person did and tell them they’re wrong and why. Publicly. On your own platform.

    I hope it makes all the difference I think you think will.

  17. leni says

    Although this is somewhat amusing, and I understand it’s hyperbole for humor’s sake, this is actually the least charitable way to read what she meant, not the most.

    Well, yes. My “most charitable interpretation” of her quoted words was just a description of her recent actions, which were pretty much the opposite of charitable.

    I too found that dichotomy amusing!

  18. alqpr says

    Surely it *is* charitable to interpret her actual actions as representative of her idea of a “respectful response”.

    And speaking of dichotomies, the irony of making a drama out of a complaint about “drama” is surpassed only by the unintended irony of the fact that, in her drama, the actual breakdown starts when vlogger#1 reacts defensively to an initially quite mild and reasonable comment about the need to defend more than just the cute ones (animals that is).

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