Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Strictly no right of reply".... Rad Fem thought police.

In earlier posts I have spoken about highlighting womens and LGBT issues on male leftie blogs. In the spirit of fairness I feel I should also do this with feminist blogs. I recently felt quite frustrated reading radical feminist blogs that focused on issues of appearance such as wearing bra's and shaving their legs . Now I do understand the importance of the issue of appearance and women , both Louise and I have posted/commented on this . I do though lose the will to live at what can seem navel gazing when there is a lot worse happening to women in the world.

Yesterday I came across a Rad Fem site, Feminist First, that was discussing wearing a bra . I had previously ploughed through a similar site posting at length on various beauty rituals. I suppose I wanted to make the point that as feminists perhaps we should focus outwards a little and that we are privileged if that is our only concern (and of course it isn't , even in the West there are major issues/problems for women). I commented, and for me I think fairly inoffensively.

The site was moderated . Today I received an e-mail telling me my comment had been put in the recycle bin !

I do understand that feminist blogs do attract some unpleasant comments . At Stroppyblog we have also received some. My view though is not to censor but to show them. I do not think I said anything that should have caused great offence, it was my views as a feminist. Why not put the comments up with the original post so that others could argue and disagree with me if they wanted. I think its called debate !

Of course my punishment for daring to disagree did not end there. In the recycle bin the moderator had added her own 'interpretation' of what I had said , the heading being "BETWEEN THE LINES OF A TROLL COMMENT" . I am not a troll. I only post under Stroppybird. I gave my e-mail address and the link to Stroppyblog, so hardly hiding.

Feminist First then added 'interpretations' of what I was really saying (silly me for not knowing my own mind or not being aware of the concept of conditioning). They were added to my comments and written as though I was saying them, putting words into my mouth. They include :

I am accustomed to criticising feminists and dismissing issues that are important to women and this has made me unpopular in the past

In debates I do not worry about being 'popular'. In regard to all the 'interpretations' I would like to point out I say what I mean . I do not dismiss issues that are important to women . I may apply some critical thought, and for that I do not apologise. I also listen to other views and debate, something that seems unfamiliar to Feminist First.

Another interpretation made was :

I don't like my breasts as they are, but im not about to admit to this after dissing the writer of a post on women loving themselves. Besides, I feel a bit guilty about the negativity, hostility and arrogance of my comment, but my bra size mitigates all that.

Apparently from my comment this person could deduce that I hate my body and can't admit to it. I wish I could be so smug and able to assess people from a few lines on a blog. I find it patronising to be told how I feel about my body. I am not in 'denial'. I also don't feel in the slightest bit guilty and do not consider my comments to have been negative,hostile or arrogant. They were my views and feelings and as valid as any other on the site.

So I thought , ok i'll reply. Then I saw at the top of the recycle bin Strictly no right of reply.

This really pisses me of. I would like to debate with this site but am not allowed to. The list of rules about who can comment more or less says don't bother unless you agree. I can imagine some very empty comment boxes on the MLBs if they operated this rule!

To debate and disagree is not to be negative, hostile or arrogant. Strictly no right of reply and 'interpretations' is. I am happy for people to comment, disagree and debate with me on this blog.
I am sure I will, if not already, be labelled a woman hater for posting this here. I would rather debate on Feminist First , but I am not allowed to do that . I am censored and 'interpreted' because I did not go on the site and agree. I didn't play ball with the smugness and arrogance of someone who can 'interpret' and criticise me but not allow a right to reply. I hate to say this, but sometimes there is just to much in common between Rad Fems and religious fundamentalists. Wonder what the Rad Fem equivalent is of a fatwa !!

Feminist First you are welcome to debate here anytime and not be censored . An option you do not allow on your site. It may seem a strange concept at first, but i'm sure you will get the hang of it.