Dick Hyacinth Can’t Lose

June 26th, 2007 by | Tags: , , , , ,

Dick Hates Your Blog: Focused on a single issue for a change

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.

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5 comments to “Dick Hyacinth Can’t Lose”

  1. As someone who has been mocked for not going along with the outrage of the week, I think Dick’s suggestions are right on the money. Of course, no one will ever follow them, but it’s nice to dream …

  2. The bingo device? Somehow, this one has pass’t me by.

  3. Anti-comics feminist bingo card

    I’m not very fond of it, either, and Dick nails why: it’s with us or against us rhetoric. Popping up to say “Bingo!” is obnoxious, insulting, and adds nothing to a discussion other than dissing someone.

    (“She keeps on passin’ me byyyyy…” I’m fighting the urge to post the lyrics to that song, it’s a personal favorite.)

  4. Its a bingo card made up of the most common responses to feminist blog entries/posts/etc. Stuff like “read manga” or “there are worse things” and so on. Partially meant as a joke and partially born out of frustration with making the same arguements over and over again…

  5. lurkerwithout has it right there. As someone who obsessivly reads every post in When Fangirls Attack, the fact that so many arguments are just the same makes you wonder if the same guy is making those arguments under different accounts.

    Anywho, I think this is the best counterargument I can find, even though its not a REAL couterargument, mind you: http://westmark.blogspot.com/2007/06/gatekeepers.html