6 December, 2006

Thread Derailment

Posted in Abbott and Costello, Alas a Blog, Feminist Issues, Flame Wars, Free Speech, Jake Squid, ms_xeno, Radfem at 1:29 am by Daran

For reasons I which will become clear below, I can’t respond to this over at Alas, and there’s no reason to involve Creative Destruction, but I’ve got this underused and unread little personal blog, so here goes…

There’s a thread derailment going on over at Alas. It started with this post by ms_xeno launching an abusive unprovoked attack on a former poster:

I remember what an obnxious twit “jaketik” was when he was here, and yet I don’t recall a single woman poster who said that he could not possibly have been a victim of a sexual attack, that he could have done more to prevent it, he was surely lying, yadda yadda yadda…


“jaketik” is a insulting variation on the nym the poster used to use: “jaketk”.

My reply:

I remember jaketk too, and the moblike abuse he got for refusing to be silenced about his experiences. Looks like it doesn’t stop, even when he’s not here.

I made one further post to the thread – a pure enquiry which intentionally avoided commenting on what was being said.

Did jaketk ever deny or disbelieve another person’s disclosure? If so, can anyone cite?

I asked because the impression had been given (perhaps unintentionally) that jaketk might have done this, and I don’t know whether he had.

In addition to my two posts, another ten (so far) have been made on the off-topic by other posters – not a huge derailment, but nevertheless there have been no further on-topic posts. And I’m the one getting the blame. I won’t post to that thread again. (I now regret even the second post.) As I said in another thread:

The whole ‘derailment’ discourse is a silencing strategy. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed it, but there’s a thread derailment going on right now. It started here, with an unprovoked abusive attack on someone who isn’t even here. I made one post in his defence, and the pile-on has started. I won’t post there again about it, because I know that if I do, it will be me who is blamed for the derailment – not the person who launched the unprovoked abuse, but the proxy for the victim of it. So I fall silent.

This was an appropriate thread to say this. The new thread had been started in response to my objections to an earlier abusive post which, it so happens, did not derail the thread, (because on-topic discussion continued).

ms_xeno objected nevertheless, back in the original thread:

Ah, but according to Daran, if a woman comments that men routinely derail threads to silence women and to draw attention away from the subject of male on female rapists, it’s actually the WOMEN’S COMPLAINT about derailment that’s really silencing and derailment. It’s sort of like how the average sexist male loves to complain about women’s “victim mentality” whenever women point out that there are power disparities in this society and they frequently involve men’s power over female’s. Victimhood doesn’t exist until the woman says out loud ” a man victimized me.” It’s all almost Orwellian in its beauty, I think.

It would be, if I had said anything like that. But I didn’t. Feel free to carry on misrepresenting me though.

Oh, and Daran, way to go. Complaining about my comments (from this thread) in a thread where you can play “gotcha !” should I dare to post my opinions on your attitude there. Sooooo very clever of you.

No, ms_xeno. The person caught in the “gotcha” is me. You can say what you like, in any thread you like. You can misrepresent me, attack me, abuse me. You are not going to get blamed for the derailment. The person who will be blamed – who is being blamed – is me. And I can’t answer back because that would be derailing the thread. GOTCHA!

That’s not quite true. I can reply here, in a blog with no readers. So I guess I’ve not been completely silenced. Squeak! Squeak!!.

Update:My follow-up is here.

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16 Comments »

  1. Robert said,

    I hear you.

    But I don’t care.

  2. Tom Nolan said,

    It’s not true this blog has no readers, Daran, I’m reading ir. Keep it up, you’re one of the best posters on Alas and at Creative Destruction.

  3. Tuomas said,

    That’s not quite true. I can reply here, in a blog with no readers. So I guess I’ve not been completely silenced. Squeak! Squeak!!.

    Advertise.

    Jaketk, btw, is the same person as toysoldier. I can’t recall him ever disbelieving rape survivors. Sometimes he did post comments that could be seen as derailing (and that in fact caused derailment when everyone started to talk about how trolls have derailed the thread). Now that I have seen more of his writings, gotten a better understanding of his personality, and seen the way he conducts himself, I don’t believe it was ever his intention to minimize suffering of women.

    H

  4. Daran said,

    But I don’t care.

    Robert, you are one of the most depressing posters I know, with your que sera attitude to the devastation wrought the world over by the government you support.

    But that gave me a much needed laugh. Thanks for that.

  5. Daran said,

    It’s not true this blog has no readers, Daran, I’m reading ir. Keep it up, you’re one of the best posters on Alas and at Creative Destruction.

    Thanks, I really appreciate you saying that.

    I feel that I’ve got something to say, and I’m desperate to be heard, but so often it feels like nobody is listening.

    There are a lot of people like that. Most of them are raving schizophrenics.

  6. Daran said,

    Advertise.

    There’s no point without any content. I’d rather use the readymade platform that is Creative Destruction.

    Jaketk, btw, is the same person as toysoldier.

    I’ve suspected as much for a long time. The flat, monotone delivery is quite distinctive. On the other hand, I’ve known other male survivors with a similarly flat tone, so I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.

    I can’t recall him ever disbelieving rape survivors. Sometimes he did post comments that could be seen as derailing (and that in fact caused derailment when everyone started to talk about how trolls have derailed the thread). Now that I have seen more of his writings, gotten a better understanding of his personality, and seen the way he conducts himself, I don’t believe it was ever his intention to minimize suffering of women.

    Nor I.

  7. Tom Nolan said,

    Well, if all the rhetorical humbug starts getting you down, just pinch yourself and remember how much of the debate at Alas is pure theatre. Not that the site is not on occasion a forum for good debate, of course; but threads dealing with rape are tacitly reserved for the argumentative vengeance of the soi-disant advocates of female victims. Of course such advocates cannot get the better of avowed rapists on these threads, because no avowed rapist, as is only right and natural, would be allowed to post on them. But that still leaves a huge animus which has to be directed at someone, and a man like you who professes scepticism with regard to a particular argument or opinion is considered to be a more or less voluntary flack-catcher. The assumption is that here, at last, women – through “representatives” such as Jake Squid and Ms. Xeno – can get their own back for once, open debate and civility be damned.

  8. toysoldier said,

    Daran, of all the posts of yours I that I have read, I cannot think of any where you deliberately derailed a thread and certainly none where you have attacked female victims. I do not know where that sort of accusation comes from, but it is undeserved and unwarranted.

    Thanks for the defense.

  9. Daran said,

    You’re welcome, TS. Are you banned at Alas?

  10. […] I’m embroiled in a bit of an interblog flame war with some of the feminists over at Alas. I don’t want to involve CD or its readers in all that, but part of my latest post addresses some substantive issues, so I’ve decided to post an editted and expanded version here. […]

  11. Ampersand said,

    TS is banned at “Alas” as Jaketk. I’m up in the air whether or not to ban TS now that I know that he’s a banned poster, posting under another name. Generally speaking, that sort of thing is frowned upon.

    I guess I’m going to let it slide for now, since I don’t know the source of Tuomas’ information, and it’s possible that Tuomas is mistaken.

  12. […] Continuing my practice of relegating to my own unread blog the sordid details of my recent flame war with some of the feminists on Alas, while bringing to a (slightly) greater readership any points which arise that have a wider relevance. In this case, a discussion which started with Tuomas (All quotes from the same thread): One point here in Amp’s defense (I can’t believe I’m saying that…) is that [Alas] occupies a very precarious position in the blogosphere. Unambigiously feminist man who thinks radical feminism has a lot to offer who nevertheless seeks to incorporate even anti-feminists and right-wingers somewhat to the discussion. […]

  13. toysoldier said,

    I’m up in the air whether or not to ban TS

    I will not post on your blog. Recent comments validated my concerns about the intent of the thread. It would best, in keeping with your moderation rules, to delete my posts as well.

  14. Rachelle said,

    Hey..there are people out here in web land reading your blog. I have to admit that as an occasional commenter that I don’t always understand how the politics of blogs works, but I have to say that I have a hard time when someone calls another person out personally in a post and that person is not allowed to defend themselves in that same post. Sounds like a bunch of back patting horse shit to me. They can use words like they don’t feel safe but give me a break people its the frikken internet…someone is not engaging you face to face and if you can dish it you should be able to take it…just my not so humble opinion.

  15. Daran said,

    Hi Rachelle

    Thanks for dropping by. When I said that I had no readers, that was literally true. I’d never linked here from outside, so there was no way for anyone to get here.

    To put readership in perspective, this post, which remains linked to from the thread in question has had 133 page views so far, over 100 of them within the first couple of hours of the pingback appearing on Alas. this post whose pingback was was deleted has had 7 views altogether. I don’t know how many views the thread on alas got in the same period (and how many of those read the comments), but I’ll bet it’s four or five figures.

    I’m not “not allowed” to defend myself in the forum. Noone has prohibited me from posting there. I’m partially disarmed, in that the blog and thread rules prohibit me from (among other things) making generalised complaints about “feminists”. There are no such restrictions upon my attackers, who are also able to flout the rules about courtesy and respect. But that’s not the problem. I’m more than a match for them, even with one arm tied behind my back.

    What I can’t defeat, is the dynamic, the unwritten ‘rule’ that non-feminists defending themselves or other non-feminists from the personal attacks, abuse, and misrepresentations by feminists are “derailing” the thread. It’s like trying to play a game of soccer with a rule that says its a foul for your side to kick the ball.

  16. […] But if it’s to be discussed here, I’d rather it happen in the comments, through the positive actions of the CD constituency, than foist in on them by way of posts. So I will continue only to raise issues arising which have wider significance, and leave the “sordid details” to the comments or on my own blog. […]


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