Monday, 7 July 2008

This Comment Has Been Removed

From here (Comment is Free) exactly as was written (apart from one typo I corrected):

Oh, come on. This is getting to be beyond a joke.

How many pro-feminist pieces, making sweeping anti-male statements that wouldn't be tolerated were any other group the subject and often containing all kinds of mis-uses of statistics in support of their arguments, have there been on CiF?

How many times have there been articles in opposition to the feminist viewpoint above the line here?

You have feminist spaces (like 'The F Word') where you can control the discussion, every comment that appears, so nothing too strongly-worded in its disagreement with the feminist line can be published. Elsewhere, in uncensored venues, if you attack people, they'll attack back. And rightly so.

UPDATE (08/07):

Mr. Godwin enquires "Why [do] otherwise intelligent men seem to find perfectly reasonable pieces of feminist theory so threatening/intimidating/frightening?".

Those aren't the right words - I'd prefer to say "insulting and bordering on/crossing the line into offensive" (see here for some examples of the type of rhetoric I'm talking about).

However, in response to that question I don't think I could put it better than commenter sealion (on Dave Hill's thread at CiF) has (bolding mine):
My problem with a lot of feminists (not feminism) is that they often berate men for holding onto a lifestyle that they do not have. Like most men, I go about my life peaceably, going to work, socialising with male and female friends, trying to do a little bit to help others if I can, busting my arse to make a living, that sort of thing. I do my best to treat people fairly and with respect, whoever they are, and generally find that most other people do the same.

Then I turn on my computer and get told that I contribute to violence against women, that I'm a possessor of 'invisible male privilege', that 'my kind' need to confront their own attitudes and behaviours, and give up my privileged position of power.

My first thought is usually: "What the f*** did I do?"

There is often an accusatory tone to articles on here, and when people get defensive its assumed that its because their privileged position is being attacked. That may be the case sometimes but think its usually because people feel that they are being held commonly accountable for something that they would never do.

Holding a group of people collectively accountable for the sins of some is wrong - whether its a Richard Littlejohn type doing it, or a feminist like Julie Bindel.

UPDATE 2: Want an example of another, separate reason I have a problem with many feminists? Have a read of this.


leapyear said...

the ceonsorship on that thread is shocking. Of course your comment should not have been deleted.

Cif has gone so far downhill and this thread is the final straw, to mix a metaphor.

Political Scientist said...

I am utterly baffled as to how your comment is offensive.

Comment is free, and worth what you pay for it.

Is there any empirical evidence to suggest that women posters are disproportionatly targeted? It is asserted fairly often, but never accompanied by quantitative evidence.

A good proxy would be comments deleted: if it's offensive enough for the CiF moderators to remove it, it probably counts as offensive in the eyes of the author.
It isn't a perfect proxy: the moderators often claim to delete all responces to "offensive" comments although they do not, some comments such as yours are only offensive in a parallel universe, and offense may readily be taken at
comments that remain. However, it would be a good place to start.

So, are female authors subject to more deleted comments than male authors? Inquiring minds would like to know.

QT said...

@political scientist: Cath (the author of the original post at CiF) was herself bemused by the deletions at one point, so I don't think you can necessarily say deleted posts are offensive in the eyes of the article author.

JuliaM said...

It isn't always because your post is offensive, sometimes it's because you are quoting another post that's been zapped, so they take yours out too.

It's annoying that they don't make it clear why.

Mr. Godwin said...

Call me old-fashioned, but I am always confused as to why otherwise intelligent men seem to find perfectly reasonable pieces of feminist theory so threatening/initimidating/frightening. I'm not sure I've seen what I'd call "sweeping anti-male statements" in the sort of posts you've linked to before.

Perhaps you should post something about what your actual disagreements with feminist points of view are, rather than meta-comment on what goes on in the scary world of CiF? It would certainly make your argument stronger-and a bit more interesting.

QT said...

@mr. godwin: I will in time write a more discursive post about my disagreements with feminism, for it is a topic I do return to quite often.

But as for the anti-male statements I mention, I dealt with this specific issue I have with CiF last month.

QT said...

I deleted the previous comment because it is now superfluous.

I have updated the post in response to your comment, @Mr. Godwin.

Political Scientist said...

@Ian: "so I don't think you can necessarily say deleted posts are offensive in the eyes of the article author."

I suppose not - moderation appears to be more-or-less random.

@JuliaM:"It's annoying that they don't make it clear why."

I don't know why they can't say "This comment has been removed by a moderator as it violates section XXX of our comments policy" or similar, just to make things clearer.

CathElliott said...


I can only think your comment was deleted because it was deemed to be off topic; you were discussing feminist writers and the issue you have with the way some of us write rather than debating the actual blog topic. But that's just guesswork on my part; I honestly have no influence over the moderation, and I was as baffled as some of the posters when I saw how many deletions had taken place on the thread.

Anyway, looking forward to reading your thoughts on feminism and feminists........

QT said...

@Cath: Do you as a writer have any influence over the moderation at all, or are the two spheres completely separate on CiF?

I guess you're probably right - that the comment was deemed to be off-topic. It was more a response to your follow-up comment, specifically the responses to MrPikeBishop, than to the original article. This one (responding purely to LesterJones) was even more off-topic but it wasn't deleted.

The moderation did seem to improve in the late afternoon yesterday and it was definitely better today (then again, maybe they were too busy deleting on another thread I wasn't reading).

CathElliott said...


I just submit my pieces to CiF, then when they go up, like every other poster I sit at home on my computer and post comments to the thread. If I want to report a comment I click the button just like everyone else (although as I've tried to make clear on CiF, I never report comments on my own threads.) The writers have no access to the site platform apart from when we file our copy.

I suppose if I was really annoyed by something I could always pick up the phone and complain, or email the mods direct, but I've never tried it, but other posters could probably do the same if they were really bothered by something.

You're right that the moderation improved today, but then there wasn't really anything for them to moderate on my thread, which is why I'm perplexed as to why the thread's been shut down again for the night.

Btw - I love the design of your site. Is it a standard free Blogger design or did you have to pay for it?

CathElliott said...

Sorry, hope that wasn't a rude question, only I'm contemplating setting up my own blog and I've been admiring yours from afar for a while now :)

QT said...

Not a rude question at all - I'm happy that my blog has been an inspiration for someone, even if only in design terms ;-)?

My blog is based on a standard Blogger template, Minima. I then customised the colours. The background is hex #261325 and the colour of the title and date is #CAF99B.

The only other customization to the Blogger template is the boxes I use for blockquotes, which I can give you the HTML for if you want.