TeamLiquid boyz and “attention whores”

In response to our recent story on Sexual harassment for female players in Starcraft2 thread, reader mOnion commented:

I have an incriminating recording of one of the mods from the site saying to a young lady “bitch make me a sandwiche, I’m busy playing starcraft”

if you’d like a copy of the .mp3 just followup this comment

I was skeptical, because, you know, how do you get a sound recording of something an online admin said? It struck me as far-fetched, but I wanted to see where it went, so I emailed mOnion with what I suspected a plant would consider the proper amount of enthusiasm:

Hi there,

I’d love to hear your MP3 of the moderator you mentioned on The Hathor Legacy. Do you have any way to authenticate it – prove that it’s who you say it is, and all that? Because I would not mind taking these guys on if I had the right ammo. :)

mOnion wrote back describing difficulty finding the Mp3 because “its buried amongst my music and porn sry”.

Today one of the TeamLiquid forum admins emailed me a screenshot of my email to mOnion, presumably for the purpose of intimidating me into silence. But the screenshot just proves that mOnion was indeed a plant trying to get a response that would cast doubt on my trustworthiness. As I described in the original article, attempts to cast doubt on the veracity of women seems to be the standard TeamLiquid method for silencing them. The possibility that a poster claiming to be a woman might be a man or an “attention whore” (see the original article) concerns them greatly. The possibility that a poster claiming to be a man might be a woman doesn’t even rate a glance, as evidenced by the number of women at both TeamLiquid and my original story claiming to use exactly that strategy to avoid being harassed endlessly.

I suspect if mOnion and the admin had gotten the “incriminating” response mOnion hoped for, they’d have just posted it on their forum and ripped me to shreds – and fair enough, actually. But I know a thing or two about both journalism and trolls. I asked for authentication and gave no hint I’d move forward with anything about the mp3 unless I got authentication. That’s a higher standard of journalism than the mainstream press bothers with these days. My story was comprised of quotes from the TeamLiquid forum, which all of you can go verify for yourselves unless they delete or edit the thread, and some clearly demarcated non-factual opinion commentary. And yet the TeamLiquid admin’s email calls the story a “hack job” lacking “much needed context” and invites me to a public debate somewhere other than my site because he won’t have his side of the story “edited or deleted.”

mOnion posted a derogatory lie about TeamLiquid on Hathor, and TeamLiquid thinks we’ve wronged them.

Before the admin triumphantly posts a screenshot of my email response to him, yawn, here it is:

And why do you think I asked mOnion to authenticate? Because I had wondered from the start where one obtained a sound recording of an admin who probably lives a thousand miles away saying anything. And you guys worry about women being liars.

So this kind of half-ass deception is how you guys handle things, yet you think by simply quoting your site (facts) and sharing a clearly non-factual interpretation of them, I’ve somehow wronged you?

Rich. Very rich. The story is perfectly valid, and you know it. You are tolerating misogyny publicly on your website, but indicate it’s unfair for anyone to point it out publicly? But I should trust you to engage in a public debate? Gee, I think that would be unwise on my part. ;)

When you’re reporting on sexism, one thing you never have to do is make stuff up, because there’s so much of the real deal available. TeamLiquid has the legal right to tolerate misogyny and even rape jokes on their forum because women are not recognized as a group against whom “hate crimes” may be committed in the USA. But other sites certainly have the right to criticize TeamLiquid.

This elaborate (though not very convincing) little ruse from the boyz at TeamLiquid raises an interesting irony: while they’re busy worrying that every poster claiming to be a straightforward woman/girl who games might not be what she seems, these guys are proving themselves liars and deceivers.

Comments

  1. Rutee says

    And of course, we know how this story will be remembered.

    Woman files legitimate complaint on their own website of misogyny, and the enabling thereof.

    Men lie, and attempt to humiliate individual women with their lies.

    Woman points this out.

    Women Be Bitches.

    Jennifer, you’ve clearly been active and aware of the wide reaching-ness of this BS. How do you not explode?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says

      Probably not, in the right places, though. That’s one of the things of the internet: things stick. They don’t get removed or erased rather easily.

      And when it comes down to it, people who feel themselves attacked because they never learned how to properly treat other people and get called on it.. aren’t likely to comprehend they are in the wrong. They don’t want to admit it, I think. Even if the facts are plain as day. Could they learn? probably.. but probably not so easily on the internet. Better would be to start with finding how people pick such tendencies up and how to combat those as early as possible.

      I do apologise if I’m having a few problems with my grammar and formulation right now. And if it’s about a month after, but I only just found out about this through the helpful chaps of rockpapershotgun.com

  2. sbg says

    It seems like the ultimate “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. Engage, and you “prove” what bitches women are and therefore they win; ignore and you’ve been silenced and therefore they win.

    I use the term win loosely.

    Frankly, it’s this kind of casual misogyny that is super rampant in not only places like this but in any public forum – take, for example, my foray into the comment section of a recent post about the Seattle Storm winning the WNBA title – for every “Hey, congrats to them!” comment there were at least ten blatantly misogynist comments about the worthlessness of women’s sports in general and how all the players are ugly dykes anyway, so who cares? – that needs to be fought the hardest.

    For fuck’s sake, a woman can’t excel at anything without incurring negativity from Joe Q. Public and reinforced messages on how she doesn’t really count anyway. And yet people are surprised when women get fed up with that attitude? Pffft.

  3. Jen says

    tch, tell them if they like sexism so much, they should go live in the 50s. Oh No turns out the 50s is shit cos it doesn’t have computer games. TOUGH, YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN THE 50s NOW ARSEHOLES! yeah! (if time travel was invented, that is) :)

  4. says

    Wuuut? Am I missing something major here? What does it “prove” when someone offers you some information, and you respond by indicating that you’d be interested in learning more? I get that there was theoretically some sort of clever trap being deployed, here, but I can’t figure out what it was even supposed to be.

    • sbg says

      I haven’t been able to figure it out either using common earth logic. My best guess is they expected to hear back with an affirmative yes, please, complete with bashing of the administrator and any other little thing they could show as being man-hatin’.

      • says

        What SBG said. Plus, they’d gloat I had fallen for a trick, ha ha.

        It wouldn’t have impressed anyone else in the world, Revena, but social groups like that have very low standards for their own alleged intelligence and righteousness.

  5. Trix says

    Good on you for not getting sucked into their bullshit, but I do wonder why the smilies in the messages, particularly the last one. What you’re saying to them isn’t a joke.

  6. Aconite says

    It’s a good thing I can type a response with my fingers here instead of talk because my jaw is on the floor! W. T. F?!!!

    My response to that dude’s first offer wouldn’t even have been so kind as yours. I’m thinking something like “prove it or GTFO”. I’m sure you’ve saved up all their emails, and I’d even suggest getting screenshots of the original forum posts, just in case. (Better to have the ammo on hand and not need it than the other way around, right?)

    And now I’m laughing my ass off at the sheer ridonkulousness of those doodz. LOL! What did they think they’d achieve anyway? XD

  7. Sabrina says

    What the…? What are those guys? 12 or something? That ‘plan’ sounds like some “Let’s trick the girls into saying something stupid, durrhurr” bullshit you would pull in middle school. lol

    In all seriousness, I just read up about the whole SC2 thing. My gosh, I suppose I can consider myself lucky with my gaming experiences. When I started gaming online I found a super nice guild. For most of the time I was the only girl there. Sure, there have certainly also been a few sexist undertones in some jokes and flirty comments. But it was all – thank goodness – rather of the tame and friendly kind. Sadly, after a few years we all drifted apart (different games, interference with real life and all that). I really miss those times.

    I start to wonder if this harassment has something to do with the kind of games?
    Lots of these ‘problematic for females’ games are targeted to male gamers and are very competitive. Either it’s the gameplay itself or some achievements. And then I start thinking that maybe that “You lost to a girl!” stigma has something to do with it. That the more competitive a game is the more ego-driven it is and the more guys are seeing girls as as potential threat. That while it may already be bad enough if they are loosing to another guy it’s at least this fight ritual thing so they can still feel manly. But but loosing to a girl somehow crushes their ego entirely and they compensate this with being a sexist asshole. That if a woman dares to be better than a man she must be [insert sexist slur of choice here] and deserves to be treated like shit. Of course not all guys are like this. But I’m pretty sure those who are are those that were raised with and have internalized this “You must be better than a girl!” agenda.

  8. I. Scott says

    Wow, that’s terrifying, and sort of sad.
    It’s like they care enough to try a fairly convoluted plan to discredit you when you pointed it out, but not enough to do anything about it on their own site…

    • Dom Camus says

      Have you taken a look at the forums on that site?

      The culture they have over there is… Well, let’s just say I don’t think the mods there are very likely to be feeling ashamed at being exposed as sexist. Highly amused seems more likely.

      • The Other Patrick says

        I read a comment where a user said he expected a player to reap a lot of opponents – and he proactively explained that yes, he meant like the Grim Reaper, it was not a misspelling of rape. Before anyone asked.

      • says

        Actually, though, I should point out: I’ve deleted a LOT of comments from TL posters who feel entitled to have their side of the story (which seems to be that women really ARE shits, so there!!1!) on this site. Also some angry comments. But no amused comments at all.

        So, I must’ve hit it pretty close to the mark to get ‘em all riled up like this. ;)

        • Hmm-Hmm. says

          Shame there’s no polite varieties to at least discuss the matter with. But I suppose part of the issue is a fact that they’re not able to relate to other viewpoints on this at all. And I suppose that is because there can hardly be a middle ground and real discussion on the merits of the arguments of both sides. They’re just.. way out of line and don’t like to see themselves as such. Reflection on the self and all that.

          • Ling says

            I’m late to the party and I don’t think of myself as a polite variety, but I am willing to discuss the matter with you. I am a gamer, a gender egalitarian, and a frequent visitor to the TeamLiquid forums. Misogyny is an enormous problem in every gaming community I know of, and I am glad to see it addressed. On the other hand I am ignorant of the history of this particular conflict, other than what I have read in the articles and comments on this website. As a result I am somewhat put off by the blanket insults directed at members of TeamLiquid, gamers, and privileged folks in general. I hope the posters here are still interested in a respectful discussion; if not, I can understand why.

            • says

              I’ve just re-checked the comments and original article. There’s nothing resembling a blanket insult on the entire page – though I sure can’t say the same for the TL forum! I have posted your comment strictly to show just how many people coming from TL insist on using strawman arguments and think we’ll be stupid enough not to recognize the tactic.

  9. Patrick McGraw says

    I’m curious about your use of the term “boyz.” Is this something Team Liquid regulars use to describe themselves?

    (Honestly, it just makes me think of the Orks from Warhammer 40,000, but Orks are much better-natured.)

  10. Anemone says

    TeamLiquid has the legal right to tolerate misogyny and even rape jokes on their forum because women are not recognized as a group against whom “hate crimes” may be committed in the USA.

    You mean “may not be committed”, right?

    I was wondering about this. I came across a much milder version of sexism on a parkour forum in Canada (Vancouver). When I called someone out on a homophobic comment he made, I was told, to my shock, that they allow people to make sexist and homophobic comments, because it’s “nicer” than moderating them. I told them that I was pretty sure it was illegal, but didn’t pursue it. I just left the forum. (Very few women in that community – it’s mostly males 15-25.)

    The law here (in Vancouver, but I assume it’s more or less the same across Canada – it goes by province) is that if you are offering a business or service to the general public, you cannot allow homophobia or sexual harassment. The question for me in my situation was: how do I file a claim against an online forum, because you need a name and a street address (I didn’t know about WhoIs back then). And does this forum fall under the heading of “offering a service to the public”? I think it did, because it was the go-to place for parkour in BC, and set itself up as such. Also, I can’t file a complaint about homophobic slurs since I’m not gay, but I can file a complaint about sexist jokes since I’m female. (Another limitation: both business and plaintiff need to be in the same province, because the legislation is provincial. There’s a separate federal tribunal for some exceptions, like banks, airlines, the post office etc.) I’ve never heard of an online forum being sued, but surely it must be possible when it’s part of a larger entity like a business or community group. It seems to me to be necessary. And in my case these were people I actually met offline, since the forum was set up to organize get-togethers.

    It is relatively easy to file a claim here, but I don’t know about how it works in the US. I’m pretty sure that all countries are supposed to have legislation protecting the UN list of human rights, so the US is supposed to have something that works. And it it truly doesn’t, this is something the government would need to address.

    A good lawsuit would shape people up. Shame if it’s really not possible in the US at this time.

    • Dom Camus says

      I can’t file a complaint about homophobic slurs since I’m not gay

      Seriously?! That’s ridiculous on so many levels!

      (How do they test for gayness when they receive a complaint anyway? Is a Star-Trek style scanner that says “Gayness detected!”?)

      • Anemone says

        Legally, I can only file a complaint with the human rights tribunal on my own behalf or on the behalf of people who have given me written authorization. I am not legally authorized to speak on behalf of gays. (And I’m obviously not gay because I’m female. They’d catch that if it ever got to a hearing.) If gays care they’re supposed to do it themselves. (Though I don’t know how many young gays know their legal rights. Or young anybody for that matter. I looked it up when I was researching sexual harassment in my early 40s.)

        I can always file in the categories of sex and disability, though, if I need to (and have, not always successfully).

        • DragonLord says

          I believe that in most areas, lesbians still count as gay (the law refers to homosexual rather than gay or lesbian), so unless they were going to follow up on your sex life, they can’t prove that you don’t fall under that law.

          • Anemone says

            The comment was “f*ggy” (don’t know if this will get through), which doesn’t apply to lesbians as far as I know. But even if it did I still wouldn’t count (though I could be a witness), and I’m not going to perjure myself for a cause.

            My concern is that if being gay is bad, then being female is even worse, so homophobic slurs are also indirect slurs against women. But the law here doesn’t see it that way, and it’s the letter of the law that counts when it comes to court cases. The sexist comments that they allowed weren’t as clear-cut. Not like that gaming forum. Clear case of sexual harassment there.

          • says

            Anemone, I agree that insults which imply a man’s manliness is damaged imply that being a woman is a bad thing, and therefore are misogynistic slurs despite their male targets.

            Something the TL boyz aren’t getting and never will, going by the number of “but they call us fags, so get over it!” comments I’ve had to moderate.

    • says

      No, I meant that in the US, there’s no such thing as hate crimes against women, because women aren’t recognized as a group needing hate crime protection. Anything you do to women is just, er, normal crime. Does that make more sense?

      In the US, there’s no set place to file a complaint. For example, sexual harassment at work. You could try talking to your company first, then complain to the EEOC, who will take forever and probably not do anything (in the meantime you’ll have been fired on some trumped-up charge and now be jobless without entitlement to unemployment benefits, in most states), or you could attempt to sue… but many of our judges wouldn’t understand the above article any better than TeamLiquid, so there you go.

      Remember, we’re one of those “rugged individualist” (hypocritical as hell) countries founded on the idea that individuals can take care of themselves (but shouldn’t). Accordingly, for example, in most states you are absolutely entitled to kill someone you think is about to rape you (but not allowed to carry any weapon that would actually let you overpower a much stronger attacker). The beauty of the much-vaunted freedom we have in the USA is that we get so many choices (about how we will submit to oppression).

      My favorite fairy tale is “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” One of my favorite books is 1984. Go figure.

      • Anemone says

        I guess we’re lucky here with tribunals. Though with the UN declaration of rights and freedoms, all signatories are supposed to provide ready access to legal redress. Tsk tsk.

        It’s actually more complicated with forums, though. I looked it up: the servers are in Texas, but the site owners are in the Netherlands. I have no idea whose jurisdiction this situation is in. I wonder if anyone does.

        • says

          Well, I’m no lawyer, but it’s my understanding the owner is responsible for following the laws of whatever country he or she lives in, and the host is responsible for complying with law enforcement if a site they host is breaking the host’s country’s laws.

  11. Manifesto7 says

    Hi there,

    I am the admin that contacted you via email. I would like to assure you that despite your assumptions, I do not publish private emails on a public forum.

    In addition, this was not a set up, as monion is not a staff member. The reason I contacted you was that you told monion you would love to “take on those guys” if he could verify it.

    I offered to give you a platform to discuss the issues on my website. I was surprised that someone who is apparently so passionate about her beliefs would not take the opportunity to talk on a platform many many times the size of this website, and with an audience who you obviously feel could use exposure to educated feminist views.

    The conclusion I drew from your refusal to discuss the issue in public and from your writings and the comments on this site is that you are more interested in tabloid writing than actually advancing what you believe in.

    This latest article simply reinforces this viewpoint, and that is disappointing.

    Best Regards,
    Manifesto7

    • says

      I’ve decided to let this one through since these guys feel it’s so unfair I mod their comments.

      First off: PIX PLZ! I BET UR UGLY@!

      In addition, this was not a set up, as monion is not a staff member.

      Doesn’t matter. You used what he gave you, thus making yourself complicit in his actions, which were those of a liar.

      I offered to give you a platform to discuss the issues on my website.

      Let’s see. In all your comments and emails, you’ve shown absolutely no desire whatsoever to consider the possibility you are wrong. Now, why would I waste my valuable time trying to argue with people under those conditions? Been there, done that, got the “Argh, nobody gained anything!” t-shirt.

      The conclusion I drew from your refusal to discuss the issue in public and from your writings and the comments on this site is that you are more interested in tabloid writing than actually advancing what you believe in.

      Translation: “If you aren’t willing to discuss it on my forum where we tolerate widespread sexual harassment of women who aren’t even voicing unpopular opinions, you must not be serious.” And yet, if I did wander over and subject myself to the sexual harassment TeamLiquid allows at their forums, what do you suppose would happen? They’d call me an attention whore and make fun of how stupid I was to come to their forum, knowing how they’d treat me.

      And no, there is no point coming back with reassurances I’d be treated with respect. You guys don’t know what respect is.

      • Lika says

        And yet, if I did wander over and subject myself to the sexual harassment TeamLiquid allows at their forums, what do you suppose would happen? They’d call me an attention whore and make fun of how stupid I was to come to their forum, knowing how they’d treat me.

        Good point. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, and I’m glad you didn’t fall for that. That was an awesome reply you wrote.

        Why do they need you to go over there anyways? If they can’t be “educated” from reading your posts here, why do they think that having you there will make it clearer? You stated really clearly what the problem here.

        And this bit of his comment:

        I was surprised that someone who is apparently so passionate about her beliefs would not take the opportunity to talk on a platform many many times the size of this website,

        Can we call this privilege? “Hey Lady, mine is bigger and better than yours, but I’m willing to share part of it with you, so why aren’t you doing your duty to educate us?”

        The entitlement is mind-boggling.

        • says

          The last few comments I’ve deleted have been bent on proving their site is bigger. I really wouldn’t expect anything else, so whatever. But it begs the question: if they have so many more readers than I have, why do they care what we say? They’re actually not saying anything to indicate an interest in being educated, even if that was an acceptable demand, yet they want me to come over there. Odd, isn’t it? ;)

    • Dom Camus says

      Create the debate thread anyway. It’s about the issue, not specific participants, right?

      (I might even come and join in if you’re lucky!)

      • says

        Just fyi, here was the part of his comment directed toward you. The comment was not approved because it contained strawmen arguments and some other violations of the comment guideline, which none of these guys indicate they ever read. But this section was okay:

        @ Dom Camus: I disagree. It absolutely matters who is involved. Not only has Jennifer written two pieces about our site, on the about page of this website it states “The one thing we all have in common is the belief that media can help people change their thinking. Our media is the internet.” If this is true, why would you not embrace the chance to use the internet to illuminate people on your point of view? In addition, surely Jennifer can give a better account of the issues than I could. Discussing an issue before the lecture seems rather counter-intuitive.

        • Dom Camus says

          Thanks for taking the trouble… I’m a little disappointed, but I suppose the Team Liquid mods would feel embarrassed starting such a thread themselves.

        • says

          “If this is true, why would you not embrace the chance to use the internet to illuminate people on your point of view?”

          …Isn’t that exactly what the Hathor Legacy website is currently doing? Am I missing something here?

          • SunlessNick says

            Or maybe it’s not proper “illumination” unless you allow yourself to be lit up like a target. Gee, why ever would you pass on that chance?

          • The Other Patrick says

            By the arbitrary rules of that scene, I’m sure you could be called exactly that for wanting “them” to go to “your” site. In order not to be an attention whore, you are supposed to be as meek and passive as possible, and even then you’re probably just calling your exquisite submission to attention.

    • says

      Oh, also, since the bullshit seems to know no bounds with these losers: their site does not get significantly more traffic than Hathor. They’re about the same. Check Quantcast, an independent third party that doesn’t give a shit about either site:

      http://www.quantcast.com/thehathorlegacy.com
      http://www.quantcast.com/teamliquid.net

      I don’t even know where the remark about their site having considerably more traffic came from. Wishful thinking?

      • says

        I assume it’s because they are under the impression that feminists (and female geeks) are such a tiny fringe group that they assume that any site or blog dedicated to the topic must be a niche thing?

        Newsflash for TeamLiquid: 40% of gamers are women, and a lot of us are tired of taking crap from guys like you. Expect to be called out for it.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says

          And what if it were a niche thing? Are equal rights not a fundamental part of modern western societies? Do we not care about the few (if the few it is) who suffer? Do we not care about general behaviour towards others (regardless of who they are)?

          Well, maybe not, then. That, I daresay, does say something about TeamLiquid’s moderators.

        • says

          Ah, they’re using Alexa, which is famously unreliable and easy to game. Anyone who takes webmastering seriously (or even owns multiple sites) knows this. They seem to think I am completely stupid. Oh, that’s right – I’m a woman.

      • Lika says

        LMAO!!! The “many times the size” comment was what me snort in the first place, so now that it turned out to be bullshit, I’m cracking up here.

        • Not a man says

          (Ed Note: Comment allowed only as demonstration of stupidity.)

          I’m confused…

          The links that Jennifer posted do, in fact, show Team Liquid getting over 20x the average traffic of Hathor Legacty. This is, as said, ‘several times’.

          If you had two friends, one making $30k per year, and another making $600k (20x), you would probably consider friend two significantly more wealthy, right?

          Did the people who responded even check the links? Please enlighten me on how you came up with the ‘about the same’ conclusion.

          • says

            I’ve been modding a lot of comments which claim the links I provided show TL getting 10x Hathor’s traffic. They’ve also posted that on blogs ’round the web. And now, suddenly, they’ve bumped it up to 20x. Could the lie be anymore blatant? So I’m letting this comment through for demonstration purposes.

            Yes, we looked at the links, and apparently we have math skillz you guys lack. The links clearly show:

            Hathor: 10,900 US visitors
            TL: 23,800 US visitors.

            On what planet is 23,800 ten times 10,900, let alone twenty times? (And to clarify: a couple of weeks ago when I said the difference was not substantial, TL’s numbers were reporting at around 18,000.)

            Now. I’m sure TL is a bigger site than Hathor. I couldn’t care less. But you’re only destroying any credibility you might have by running around the web claiming that if you multiply 10,900 ten times, you get 23,800. This is the sort of mind-bogglingly blatant lie first graders expect to get away with.

  12. says

    Just adding one more thing here. There have been a number of comments from the TL guys which we have modded. We modded them because they violated our commenting guidelines, which are linked from just above the comment box. At no point have any of these guys said anything to suggest they bothered to read the comment policy.

    They have expressed a lot of confusion about why their comments were modded, with remarks like “I wasn’t attacking anyone.” I guess that’s the extent of their mod policy, and they assume it follows them everywhere online.

    The specific violations have included strawman arguments (like accusing me of thinking all TL people think alike, when my first article specifically noted that the thread went on to contain great arguments against the sexual harassment), being off-topic and lots of things you can read about at Derailing for Dummies.

    The level of entitlement involved in coming to a site, ignoring the comment policy that’s clearly posted, and then complaining about your comments not getting posted – see, that’s the sort of thing that puts one right off further engaging with some people.

  13. Shnyker says

    This sort of stuff makes me sick. Seriously I can’t even begin to fathom it. I play a TON of TF2 and used to play a lot of gmod as well, there was a handful of females in the gmod server I administrated for and there are a lot more on my favorite TF2 server, and I know that if anyone started harassing them they’d see a banhammer and stars far quicker than they counted on.

    I mean, I guess I’m just a nicer guy than those teamliquid losers but still, it boggles the mind.

    • Nick Stevens says

      Yeah, having been a gamer for pretty much my whole life and now being the proud father of a one year old daughter I find myself even more concerned than I was before. See I subscribe to the view that Geeks are my tribe and gaming is my sub-culture within and therefore I naturally want to try and impart that onto my daughter but what on Earth do I say to prepare her for this crap if she does take an interest? I certainly don’t want her to have to hide her gender.

  14. says

    This article got linked by another prominent site recently, and that prompted lots of pro-TL people to come over and comment. Most of the comments called us whores, speculated we don’t have boyfriends (gasp!), and worse. Most of the rest complained about my refusal to go over to TL and educate the masses there. Listen up – I’m only sharing this once. Read this link from Derailing for Dummies, a facetious site teaching trolls how to derail threads (its actual purpose is to explain the many subtle forms of derailing tactics. In particular:

    By insisting you can only learn if they right then and there sacrifice further hours of time going over the same ground they have so often in the past, you may also make them give up and go away altogether, enabling you to win by default.

    This is the goal of the “Educate Me Or STFU” tactic. It’s extremely familiar to anyone speaking out against status quo inequality. Sharing this link is all the education I’m going to provide.

    I used to spend hours trying to educate privileged people, and here’s what I learned. 9 out of 10 of the people who approach YOU for education on privilege instead of educating themselves (like we all have done around here) have no goal OTHER than to waste your time, and they think it’s hilarious that you’re “stupid” enough to do it while they’re just laughing at you, ha ha. If you let them waste your time, you are losing opportunities to further your own goals. From the same site linked above:

    By demonstrating your belief that Marginalised People™ should immediately gratify your every whim, you remind them of their place in society. After all, they’re not there to live lives free of discrimination and in happy, independent and fulfilling ways! Please! Marginalised People™ exist for your curiosity and to make you generally feel better about your place in society and don’t let them forget it!

    And we all know what the privileged tell us when we fail to achieve what we wanted to and claim privilege was a factor: “Well, you must’ve not spent your time and energy wisely.”

    If TL’s goal was really to educate their people, they’d simply link to my post in a thread and ask people to consider and then respectfully debate the points. The fact that they haven’t – the fact that they have instead spent hours typing comments and emails demanding that I waste my time doing that – makes me seriously doubt education is what they’re looking for.

    • says

      It’s the typical sexist nerdrage tactic: attempt to silence criticism by aggressively spamming/flooding the opposition with verbal abuse and defensive ranting that avoids addressing the actual issue being talked about. It’s so predictable on their part it’s almost disappointing.

    • The Other Patrick says

      Though I, sadly, do not have a boyfriend, so if one of the TL readers is interested, shoot me an email.

      Never had a boyfriend, really, but if it’s that important, I’ll try it.

  15. coagulation says

    (Ed.Note: Comment allowed only to demonstrate stupidity.)

    so you have read 1984
    and yet you still delete any opinion that doesn’t coincide with your own?

    do you realize that your supporting crimethink.
    the very notion orwell has tried to warn us about in his literature.
    ministry of truth much?

    its just too bad you wont let the good honest people at teamliquid state their views because they would tell you that not all of tl.net have problems interacting with women. I guess your not really as interested in equal rights as you claim.

    • says

      Coagulation, your last comment that I deleted said this:

      I can assure you that teamliquid doesnt approve of sexual harrasment.

      Stupid people may very well be harrassed.
      however this is not a gender specific principal.

      Please make a note of the difference.

      This is not just a difference of opinion. It’s offensive enough to suggest that stupid people deserve to be treated horribly, especially given that you’re not coming off too bright here yourself. But the woman in the thread was sexually harassed IMMEDIATELY. Therefore, and here’s the rest of what’s ridiculously offensive: you are either suggesting that TL trolls are so psychic they could identify the poster as stupid from one well-written post in which she asked if there were other women and girls interested in starting a clan, or you are suggesting that all women are automatically stupid, or you are suggesting that women wanting to form clans in your game are automatically stupid (but men forming clans are not).

      NONE of which even begins to explain why women who confirm their womanhood by displaying pics that reveal them to be other than gorgeous get harassed, too, so I think your argument isn’t even intended to be reasoned or thoughtful: just typical trolling. Move along, now.

      ETA: my original post clearly acknowledged that after the trolls had an unmoderated field day, a lot of TL posters made great arguments against the treatment of the OP and women in general at TL (and my second post discussed the actions of specific individuals).

      • Cinnabar says

        From now on, put up a rule that you’ll answer or allow TL doodz in only if they first present us all with pictures of themselves dressed in furry bunny bikinis.

        Yes, big bunny ears and fluffy tails stitched on the back of the bottom are mandatory.

        • sbg says

          Eh, bunnies do nothing for me. I demand firefighter-themed bikinis. I mean, it would still be somewhat degrading but at least I would get more pleasure out of it. And that’s what’s important here. ;)

      • sbg says

        Frankly, I’d have a hard time not harassing that person for the perceived stupid the comments revealed. At the very least, incredibly poor execution of the English language.

        But that would be okay, right? S/he’d “deserve” it.

      • Dom Camus says

        Well, a good starting place would be to read 1984! It’s a good book. And… in this case saves you the trouble of worrying too much about coagulation, who has evidently missed the point.

        Hathor Legacy is not the state. Any person who does not like what they read here has the freedom to go somewhere else.

        Indeed, they even have a right of reply in their own space. The internet is impressively fair in that way.

        • says

          I have deleted a lot of comments stating that we are “censoring” viewpoints, because I find it really offensive when people play the “censorship” card anytime they don’t get to say not only WHAT they want to say, but WHERE they want to say it. Censorship is when you’re not allowed to express certain thoughts, period, ever, without punishment up to and including state execution. Under USA free speech laws, you can be arrested for yelling “fire” in a crowded theater or spouting atheist views disruptively at a church. People can eject you from their homes for saying stuff they don’t like to hear, even if they invited you. Free speech does not extend to the right to disrupt lives and businesses, and censorship does not include defensive acts by people or the state preventing you from disrupting them with your speech.

          • Geoff says

            I wouldn’t mind the “censorship” so much if it was applicable to all. Comments like from the user below (not to pick on this user specifically, but it was the latest of such) which seemingly violate several of the supposed “Discussion Guildelines” are allowed through as long as they are supportive of your agenda.

            And while you are technically right about the censorship laws, it doesn’t necessarily inarguably define censorship as a principle (appeal to authority much?) – not to mention in this case, it just sounds like you’re drawing a hyperbole of an argument to justify your actions (how any of those situations could be compared to posting comments in a blog, I don’t know). Really, when you first started going about justifying deleting posts, I couldn’t help but wonder how easily you could conveniently sweep up many valid counterpoints (perhaps leaving a few for you to strategically debunk) along with more clear pieces of anti-feminist invective and other nasty bits.
            Of course, I may still be the bigger fool in this situation if this post never makes it through.

            • says

              Nothing in the comment you’re referring to violates guidelines. He’s analyzing what’s wrong with coagulent’s arguments and comment. If you have difficulty distinguishing an uncompromising but fair and guideline-abiding response from the sort of responses that violate the guidelines, that may explain a whole lot of the communication breakdown.

              It’s the pro-TL group who’s engaging in hyperbole by crying “censorship” when they get their comments modded, so your second paragraph is very puzzling. All comments were moderated carefully, and those we didn’t post were held back for specific reasons.

              The fact that some of you don’t seem to understand those reasons does not mean they don’t exist. It means you’re unfamiliar with concepts like “safe spaces”, privilege and other principles equality activist sites tend to share. Our comment policy is neither unusual nor particularly restrictive, especially compared to some of what else is out there.

            • DragonLady says

              Jennifer, if I may interject?

              Geoff, you seem to be missing a basic principle of Internet etiquette (called “netiquette”): the blog vs. the community. A blog (called a personal journal on Livejournal) is one person or a select group of persons making entry posts on a subject that other people may comment upon. It’s like a diary or book open for public review. It is the Internet version of someone’s home or land — private property over which the owner has sole discretion and anyone who comes is but a visitor. A community is a group of people who can all make entry posts on various facets of a subject and comment upon others’ entries, within whatever rules for engagement the community agrees on, and anyone who keeps within those rules may say whatever he or she likes at any time to anyone he or she likes (and the other person has to hear it even if they choose not to reply). It is the Internet equivalent of a bar: neutral territory.

              This is not a community. It is a blog: no one has posting rights but Jennifer and the writing staff. It is Jennifer’s property and as such she has the right to dictate what may be said at her whim. Booting a member of the writing staff would also be well within her authority. It’s her blog.

              What we — the writing staff and readers — are complaing about amongst ourselves on this, Jennifer’s property, is that certain message boards (communities by their very definition) have rules of engagement that make it difficult if not impossible for women to participate, that the moderating teams of those communities interpret what rules do exist in the community so loosely that even those provide no protection, and that the moderating teams of those communities NOT ONLY have no interest in changing the situation but actually think that the situation is right and just.

              To use a similie (a figure of speech indirectly comparing two unlike things to make a point) for Jennifer to leave her blog to complain on the TL community would be like a black man leaving his home to walk into a restaurant run by the KKK and complain that their restaurant lets black people enter but always serves them cold food and hot beer. There is no point. The KKK believes that treating blacks that way is acceptable and right, just as the TL mods believe that treating female gamers in such a fashion is acceptable and right. Nothing Jennifer could say about her ethical perception is going to change the TL moderating team’s ethical perceptions until they are ready, in and of themselves, to change (and then they won’t need her), just as a black man is not going to be able to convince the KKK leadership that blacks deserve a welcome of hot food and cold beer until they are ready to change (and then they won’t need him).

        • The Other Patrick says

          Yes, but this is only one part. There is:

          a) a blog is not the state, your idea of censorship is ridiculous (see also: Dr. Laura)
          b) have you actually read 1984? If yes, why are your allusions to this book and what you learned from it so wrong?
          c) you make factually incorrect claims
          d) a lesson in privilege, safe spaces, and what you think are “equal rights”
          e) basic grammar lessons

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