Friday 6 April 2012


So, DAMMIT JANET! had a bit of a problem with a couple of bloggers' take on Woodworth's Wank.

Instead of seeing the ploy for what it is -- 'an ignorant affront to global human rights standards' -- two bloggers saw it as a dandy opportunity to sharpen their middle-school debating tactics.

But, see, the thing is -- both are fellow members of the blog aggregator called Progressive Bloggers.

It takes some pretzelly thinking to reconcile 'progressive' with 'affront to global human rights standards', yes?

We shouldn't be too surprised though. Feminists have never been all that welcome at ProgBlogs or the annual Blogger Bunfest, Canadian Blog Awards.

In fact, deBeauxOs and I started blogging centuries ago at a new feminist blog. We wanted the exposure that belonging to an aggregator would bring, so we applied to ProgBlogs. We were accepted, but the mods at the time felt the need to tell us that their approval was NOT unanimous.

Classy, eh?

(Or just typical boyo-behaviour. 'We'll let you into our treehouse, but you'd better watch your step, ladies.')

What with the War on Women raging in the Excited States in the background to this new assault on women's rights in Canada, I got a little snippy on Twitter with ProgBlogs' site administrator Scott Tribe and alter-ego @Prog_Blog.

Here's the reply.

Well, as you can imagine, twit-spat erupted. Various real progressive bloggers on one side, the usual suspects on the other. Fave old chestnuts like 'circular firing squad' and 'purity test' were aired.

And so on.


Scott said he had put the matter to his six moderators for judgement. (Of those six, one is said to be uterusful and one a Dipper. It is not clear if they are in separate bodies.)

The verdict is in.

Again, not surprising.

But this time, we've had it.

It is simply not OK to disrespect and dismiss one's supposed allies.

So, if you usually get here from PB, you'll have to make other arrangements, because as soon as my co-bloggers here have taken the opportunity to say good-bye, we will be gone from there.

Image source.


900ft Jesus said...

I haven't been to pro-blogs for a couple of years. Way too much wimin' haters there.

Gristle McThornbody said...

I've never heard of Progressive Bloggers. Dammit Janet will be just fine without them. Maybe Progressive Bloggers can pick up some of the charmers from the men's rights movement. They'll class the place right up.

Dr.Dawg said...

Damn. That means I don't get to vote up your posts anymore over there.

I was hoping we could be more systematic--line up 30 or so genuinely progressive blogs, find a site admin and start our own aggregator.

Now I'm betwixt and between. I feel solidarity with youse, but I wasn't part of the process. I think I'll stay with Proggers for now, just to be a thorn in their sanctimonious side.

Of course, if you're calling for a general boycott, I'll have no choice but to exit.

fern hill said...

Not calling for anything, Dr.Dawg.

We don't need the hits from there. We get less than 10% from PB.

We're just fucking sick of belonging to a club that tolerates us so sneeringly. Like being a grrl caddy at an all-male golf club.

But you could vote me up at the moment. ;-) You know, go out with a really BIG BANG.

Dr.Dawg said...

Well, done of course.

Sol said...

I'll follow you from my own list of genuine progressives. Sorry, I don't go for sanctimonious ideological purity tests either, but in this case I'll make an exception.

Anyone who characterizes Wankworth's bullshit as anything other than an appallingly, disingenuously transparent assault on reproductive freedom isn't someone I want to be associated with. It's not just an intellectual exercise, and it's not worthy of debate, consideration or even respect.

Dave said...

Damn. For the same reason as Dawg ... and more. Luckily, I long ago changed TGB's blogroll configuration to show most recent posts so DAMMIT JANET! gets read from there.

Still, this is bad news, if only because it was the only way to rapidly advance your posts to an appropriately prominent position under the lights. To use a military adage, when you're in a fight you use every force multiplier you can get.

And you are in a fight, to be sure. One which I support without the slightest reservation.

I've had my own problems with Progressive Bloggers over the years, not the least of which is that I see problems with numbers. I don't see how a post with 14 votes suddenly drops to 7. It's as though the "mods" are making arbitrary decisions. Either that or there's a wild algorithm at large.

I don't think we all have to agree on all issues. I certainly don't agree with everything everybody else writes and I know I can leave others who share a good deal of my beliefs with sore genitals every once in a while.

Reproductive rights, however, are not a "fine line" argument. There isn't an argument. No government gets to control a person's body and ALL medical decisions are up to the individual made in the privacy of a medical office. When a so-called "progressive" jumps the fence and sides with a bunch of right-wing religious fanatics because they think the subjugation of a person is the topic for "healthy debate" they have ceased been "progressive".

TGB is in PB for one reason - self friggin' promotion. It was attractive because it didn't spell "political party" affiliation, a place I would never go.

That said, I support your decision. Don't ever let down your guard and keep punching.

Sorry for rambling on. And I gave you an up vote.

fern hill said...

Ramble all you want, Dave.

And thanks for your support over the years.

Yeah, we get a lot of hits from your nifty blogroll, so thanks for that too.

There are *discussions* going on about alternatives for self-promotion, but in the meantime we'll all promote the hell out of each other in posts, tweets, whatnot.

LeDaro said...

Does not look good for P.B.

fern hill said...

Thank you, Sol.

Jim Parrett said...

I too will miss voting your posts on PB. DJ is one of the top blogs and I will miss being able to skim over the PB posts to find the ones that stand out, usually ones by DJ.

JeninCanada said...

"Anyone who characterizes Wankworth's bullshit as anything other than an appallingly, disingenuously transparent assault on reproductive freedom isn't someone I want to be associated with. It's not just an intellectual exercise, and it's not worthy of debate, consideration or even respect."


The Mound of Sound said...

I'm with Dave, LD and Jymn. Do you think you might do a lot more good by staying and forcing them to defend themselves? Who better to challenge them and where better than where they live? What does leaving accomplish especially for those of us who had no idea of this?

double nickel said...

Meh. I come here directly on a daily basis, so it's no skin off my scrotum :)

Lindsay Stewart said...

i've never found pb of any use. i was a member for a minute when i first started blogging years ago but it was obvious very quickly that it was as useful as farting into a colander. i brushed up against it again during my brief tenure at the galloping beaver and it was still useless. so screw 'em. who needs a useless aggregator run by spineless goofs?

fern hill said...

To those who think we should stay and fight: Fight what? Whom?

Gordie is a wanker we've tangled with before. He gets off on the attention.

Saskboy is a dolt we've also tangled with and written off as unsalvageable.

Scott is spineless. Nothing we can do about that.

The REAL progressives already get it. They -- you -- are our pals and allies.

I don't think an aggregator is any kind of 'force'. It's just a handy index. And replaceable.

Dana said...

Sophomoric boys with an excess of idiolatry.

Gave up on PB long, long before I gave up on anybody or anything else.

Offroad Artist said...

I don't question your decision. Obviously you feel you had no alternative at this time.

However I don't think this is an acceptable conclusion.

All this says to me is... how far will eight years of Harper majority government turn the clock back on women's rights?

I pretty much agree with everything you have said about the issue and the bloggers. Having a child with Down syndrome, I do have an enriched perspective in one sense, but I wouldn't presume to voice opinions on this topic.

The one inconsistency in your rationale that I will mention is where you say that PG is "only an index" on the one hand but at the same time seeing yourselves as "teammates" with all the other PG members.

Probably PG is a bit more than an index and far less than a team. Maybe something like a scattered collection of thoughtful people who are like minded progressives on many topics.

The people here see themselves as progressives. Considering what else is out there, that's good enough for me. If there are a few who don't see eye-to-eye with you on every issue - that is a golden opportunity. A (usually) receptive person who can be persuaded to see your perspective on things.

If, by blogging, we are hoping to influence some people towards the tolerant, generous, hopeful and optimistic way ahead, then perhaps Scott and the mods and you would do us a kind service and find the common ground that you can live with. Thanks!

LeDaro said...

DJ, Mound is quite right. Don't leave instead deal with them. You will know the best how. Judging by the comments, you have many friends here who care.

fern hill said...

Again, to those who would have us stay.

The vote against taking any action on the offending blogposts was 7 to 0. Zero people who saw anything wrong with them or had the balls/ovaries to say so.

I'm getting a little annoyed with this 'work with them' stuff. If we were not female/feminists, wouldn't we be get high-fives for standing our ground, standing on principle?


fern hill said...

Er, 'getting', 'be getting high-fives'

Offroad Artist said...

This is your ground! Leaving is not the answer.

Niles said...

If DJ! stays at the aggregator, but is receiving no accommodation or relief of doubt from those that populate the aggregator with them, then DJ's remaining presence becomes nothing more than a stalking horse decoraton for those espousing stances not only contrary to DJ! but undermining to DJ's stances.

DJ! ends up being told 'why aren't you more sensible/rational/accommodating to the fellow travellers who find more in common with the anti-choicers than you hysterics?' and I suspect (I can always be wrong) that others on the aggregator can then be given slack for their stances because 'if DJ! is here, there must be support on feminist topics.' That supposes, of course, that women's rights matter to the arriving readers and they find DJ! a good source for it.

Staying in a contentious situation can be far more mentally draining than disengaging, bringing on 'burn-out'. Expectations of reciprocity are a stereotypically admirable masculine trait, whereas identified women are encouraged at far higher rates to continue to 'keep the peace' and 'not rock the boat' for fear of alienating alleged allies and losing profile. That talk has been going on since the days of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and likely long before.

DJ! has not left the ground upon which they stand. They have made an informed decision to disengage from an association where they have expressed themselves clearly and yet, still, are not being taken seriously.

It is their choice.

Dana said...

For how long should they stay once it's been made clear their concerns aren't taken seriously?

One month? Six months? Until *you* think it's long enough?

When does their judgement about their lives and situation count for more than your judgement?

By all means feel free to disagree with their decision. Then shut up and support it.

fern hill said...

Hadn't thought of that, Niles. Ye Olde Tokenisme.

'Some of my best friends, er, yappiest associates. . .'

Gloatessa said...

I'm on your side, Dammit.

Anyone who supports Republican Reform Douchebag Criminal 15th Century Xtian conservatives even being in the House of Commons isn't a progressive. Not by a looooooooong stretch.

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

Considering that you are a demonstrated anti-evolution wanker, I conclude that you are in a conflict of interest here, LeDaro (/rolls eyes).

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

Hear, hear!

Real_PHV_Mentarch said...

(fixed the too numerous typos and added a link - sorry)

For what it is worth - considering that I've been way more active on FB and Twitter in the last two years, than on my blog - I will also leave ProBlogs. Not only for the obvious reasons stated herein, but furthermore because I've often "encountered" way too many so-called ProgBloggers that hold fundie-like religious (if not ID/creationist) views regarding evolution, abiogenesis, the inflationary universe, factual reproducibility of science, and including the "existence" of souls-that-need-to-be-saved (yup!), etc. (I won't name names).

Heck, I've been actually ridiculed by one ProgBlogger for accepting evolution as fact (and never mind that I'm an actual bona fides scientist; re:, in addition to that Gordie Canuck wanker calling *moi* an extremist (wow!!!) because I hold onto my principles that rights *are* rights, and that there can never be any justification for curtailing/diminishing/amending/modifying *rights*. I'm tired of this authoritarian-if-not-also-fundie-religious bent that seemingly has become overtly prevalent in ProgBloggers. To me, such attitudes are the exact, very same as Conservative/GOP ones.

Either it is exactly that as I just surmised, or the moderators just keep confounding themselves - all for the sake of remaining "all inclusive".

Which, in turn and inevitably, leads to the defining question: "what does it mean, exactly, to be a *progressive*"?

Whatever the factual answer may be, it is now clear to little me that ProgBloggers' answer is not the right one.

And so it goes ...

Orwell's Bastard said...

You know, while the "hang in there and keep fighting" argument may have a superficial appeal, this isn't Major League Baseball and our DJ friends aren't Jackie Robinson. This isn't a case of brave pioneers breaking new ground and blazing a trail for others to follow. This is old ground that our predecessors have been over already, spilling a lot of blood and sacrificing a lot of time and energy in the process.

So suggesting that anyone should have to engage in this tiresome argument all over again, returning to first principles and having to establish, once again, that women have the right to control their own bodies and enjoy reproductive and sexual autonomy, isn't just an intellectual exercise -- it's an insult. It's just not isn't a debate worth having.

Saskboy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Saskboy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scotian said...

For what it is worth I'm with you completely and think you made the right call here. Reminds me why I never signed up with ProgBogs back when I was writing regularly at Saundrie. I also have to agree with your point about how it is likely if you were guys standing on a point of principle you would be lauded for it instead of being told you should just try to work with these people. Personally I do laud you for standing your ground so, for whatever it means to you. As for staying in general, it would be one thing if there had been a split vote of the mods, but a unanimous vote leaves you no fertile ground to till IMHO, and at that point you are better served elsewhere. It won't affect how I come here, I come via Dave at TGB.

fern hill said...

I just removed some comments from Saskboy.

He is not welcome here. Blogpost coming.

fern hill said...

I hope you keep blogging, Mentarch. Thanks for support.

fern hill said...

Yeah, over and over and fucking over again. Like we women have never had these discussions before and need to get mansplained to. Again.

fern hill said...

Thanks, Scotian. You're right 7 to 0 doesn't leave much negotiation room. Or reasonableness room for that matter.

Line Merrette said...

It is basically the same problem as insisting for giving "equal time to the opposing view" about creationism and other shit. I just gives respectability to BS.

Religious beliefs belong in religion courses. Not science courses.

LeDaro said...

Mentarch, get over with it. You seem to have perpetual grudge against me. Take a deep breath.

You know very little about me. I devoted more than two decades of my life to various human rights organizations and chaired a few and fought alongside natives, minorities and women.

Traveled all over Canada on these issues. Dealt with federal and provincial politicians and bureaucrats. I was nationally recognized for my efforts.

LeDaro said...

“…..and never mind that I'm an actual bona fides scientist;” You maybe a scientist but you have a too long way to go to understand interpersonal relations. A lot of social evolution needed in your case. Yours truly taught social science courses in a prominent university in Ontario. Enough said.

JJ said...


LeDaro said...

Fern hill, I thought this stream was about women's rights and behaviour of PB. But this so-called “bona fides scientist” wants to discuss his ego first.

Sorry about this distraction. Your struggle is supported by many and keep up the good work.

Smartpatrol said...

As a student with schedule-induced tunnel vision (studying, tests, exams, con-campus work & volunteering, et-freaking-cetera) this completely passed me by & I'm writing this coming late to the party.

After catching up on this, I'm embarassed & disappointed & throwing in the towel with PB. Oh yes, absolutely - if the J in DJ! stood for "John" then you'd be getting commendations for standing your ground instead of being questioned as to why you're not being as sensible / rational / accommodating / reasonable & letting your delicate lady-brains make you all hysterical. Ugh - why do so may otherwise progressive dudes just fall down on this topic? I was never on the roll myself (I'm much better at commenting on other people's blogs than writing on my own) but I couldn't agree more: this is bullshit. This is a bullshit attempt to give credence to an odious set of beliefs that are in complete opposition to anything remotely progressive. There is a gulf between a purity test and getting fucked off with a pack of mansplaining clowns who insist on shitting where the rest of us need to eat. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Scott Tribe, & grow a backbone while you're at it.

Too bad I'll have to take down the bilingual PB banner. It went with my blog's colour scheme rather nicely.

fern hill said...

I think you need to go on our blogroll, Smarty. ;-)

Orwell's Bastard said...

From now on, when I eat my Smarties, I'm going to eat the red ones last!

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