Dick Hyacinth is a man after my own heart.
So, because nobody demanded it, I’ve got a few suggestions for those of us who are concerned about the portrayal of women in Marvel/DC comics, yet equally concerned that the debate is getting unfocused, too shrill, or just somehow vaguely off:
1. Don’t treat those who disagree like children, no matter how much they might deserve it. I like a good put-down war as much as the next guy (yes, yes, probably more so), but I like my opponents to be fully-functioning adults. There’s no sport in matching wits with your average Blogorama troll (though there is some fun in mocking them from afar, say at your own blog). Be polite, keep the high ground, don’t make blanket generalizations that you can’t support (again, unless you’re doing it at your own blog).
1a. Maybe you should give the bingo thing a rest. Yes, we might find it funny, but I think it alienates people who might otherwise be sympathetic to complaints about sexism/misogyny. The post which explained the whole bingo concept (which I can’t find right now) does a fairly good job in explaining everything, but I still think this is a fairly exclusionary rhetorical device–you’re for us or against us! You get it or you don’t! In the present landscape, I don’t think this is a useful way to frame the argument. People are much more willing to consider your perspective if they think you’re inviting them to do so, rather than telling them they’re too stupid to understand.
2. Don’t be afraid to moderate comments. This is a tricky one–nobody wants to look like a censor. But some people aren’t interested in discussing issues in good faith; they’re either intellectually incapable (hopefully due to youth) or just not interested in real debate. I wish the powers that be at Blogorama were a little quicker in deleting these sorts of comments, though I kind of understand why they aren’t. For the rest of us, especially those whose blogs end up being the epicenter of a particular controversy: if the commenter feels slighted or oppressed, you might remind him or her that blogs are free. And if you have something interesting to say (or even if you don’t, sometimes), people will eventually notice you.
2a. Don’t feed trolls. I also wish that people who know better would just ignore the type of comment described above, especially those left on Blogorama. It’s good to engage with people who have opposing viewpoints, but only if they’re legitimately interested in honest intellectual debate. Arguing with trolls quickly turns into a screaming match. This might be somewhat amusing when discussing Civil War or something else that doesn’t fucking matter–hell, I think there’s some value to trolling in such a situation. But this is actually somewhat serious shit. Pick your words carefully; don’t let something that matters to you devolve into a cable news talk show.
There’s another couple rules in there, along with a lot more text, all of it worth reading.
He says there what I say here but in a much more concise and less-rambly manner.
For a blog based on hating other, lesser, blogs, Dick’s blog is top notch.