Saturday 7 April 2012

What Happened

I'm going to divide this into three sections: The Blow-by-Blow, The Support, The Take-away. (You may skip.)

The Blow-by-Blow
Yesterday, I announced DJ!'s intention to quit Progressive Bloggers. Intention, not yet a request to be unplugged, because DJ! is a group blog with contributors across the continent and (at the moment) off the continent as well.
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.

The group includes people (male and female, note) who all have relationships with the innertoobz. Some very long-standing, some not. All -- in my view -- with the right to use the PB platform to say buh-bye to friends and associates who use it.

My thought was that once everyone who wanted to had said what they wanted, THEN we'd unplug ourselves however that is done.

Meanwhile, my post was generating some reaction. (I'll get to that under The Support.)

Boyos didn't like the reaction. My post at PB had 17 votes the last time I looked before the purge. There was a lot going on at Twitter.

Then, suddenly, DJ! was purged from PB. Gone.

My post had been up for a few hours. deBeauxOs's had been up at PB for perhaps a hour. Posts from Námo Mandos and Niles were published at DJ! but had yet to appear at PB. And one from Beijing York (perhaps still in the works) was in progress. [ADDED: Tada!] It is a long weekend, after all.

Yes, DJ! wanted to be gone from PB. But funny thing: we wanted to leave on OUR terms. (Kinda like people in general want control over their actions, bodies, lives, etc., yes?)

Not to be.

The Support
The initial post got great reactions from Dr Dawg, Dave at TGB, and Orwell's Bastard. Those three have 'top votes' at PB at the moment.

And, as I said, there was a rumble going on on Twitter. And more reaction since, natch.

The Take-Away
1) The boyos at ProgBlog had a teensy amount of control over a feminist body blog and they exercised it because they could.

2) As Dr Dawg said (in Twitter DM so no link): Management often locks workers out before a planned strike. I always smirk when I read mods, site admins, and blog award vols whining about how much unpaid labour they put into their roles. Yeah, buddies, but if not for the bloody UNPAID bloggers you'd have nothing to whine about.

3) The decision to leave is correct.


Dana said...

The decision to stay is suspect.

There is nothing 'progressive' whatsoever in having a 'debate' about whether women are sovereign individuals or not. That's what the proposed 'debate' boils down to.

Remaining associated with PB infers that the principles of said blogger(s) are flexible enough to allow them to remain in the room and legitimize a 'debate' about the sovereignty of women.

Questionable to say the least.

Anonymous said...

those guys sound like jerks. you made the right decision

Scotian said...

Not only did they show that they weren't truly "progressives" in all of this, but the way they handled this was bluntly put rude, not to mention immature. As I understand it you had not sent in a request to terminate your association, all you had done was say on your blog in a post that this would be your intention once the rest of your fellow co-bloggers were brought into the picture (and assuming they concurred, but that is my assumption, I figure you would not have left if the majority of your fellow bloggers said they would prefer not to, but as I said that is an assumption on my part only) and you were all going to post final posts for ProgBlogs first since you had been ling standing members with associations with other long time members of ProgBlogs before submitting that disconnect request, right? That is how the sequence reads to me anyways.

What ProgBlog did underscored why they should not be trusted anymore IMHO. They dumped a blog that had announced its displeasure with them and their management style, they knew that the blog was intending to (yet had not as yet) formally requested severance, and they knew it was causing them negative publicity within the blogging community the longer it continued on their site, so they acted immaturely, irresponsibly, and quite rudely (IMHO) and tossed you overboard without any formal request to do so, in essence they "fired" you before you could "quit". Now in the real world, the proper sequence would have been to wait for the formal request of termination before doing so, and even in our voluntary world of blogging the courteous and polite thing to do would have been to wait for that request, but nooooo, that was not the decision taken was it. No, this was the decision of people who have to always be in control, which given the original issue which started this who affair seems to speak volumes for their true beliefs, because actions always speak louder than words!

The way they handled this Fern Hill only underscores you were right in your decision all along, shame on them and kudos for you for standing proud and doing what was right. For me it is the action which deserves the recognition, not the gender of those taking it, and yours was courageous, proper, and well executed indeed. You have my admiration and respect for it.

fern hill said...

You have the sequence right, Scotian.

Thank you for kind words.

fern hill said...

That's how it felt, OB. :(

Scotian said...

You are most welcome. I just call things as I see them, and this is how I see them in this case. I grew up around very strong, vibrant and community active women who spent their early adulthood dealing with the Depression and then played important roles in WWII. I've never had any problems with the idea that women and men are equal, yes there are basic biological differences in each gender but bottom line is both genders are human beings first and foremost, and to deny that diminishes us all. I'm always pleased to see women that remind me of my grand-aunts/grand-mother and you do (and my blog was named after them too, it was the name of the clan house that one of those ladies was the head of, my family had a bit of a matriarchy going within it from the late 1800s through to my generation) and did in all of this, so it was my pleasure and honour to say what I did.

Good luck, take care and be well.

Gristle McThornbody said...

Now look what you did -- you made all of us cry ;)

Orwell's Bastard said...

Fern, Bonesy, anne, BY, Mandos et al:

For the moment I'm still being aggregated there. You're welcome to guest-post your flounces at my place if you like.


900ft Jesus said...

that was fucking childish of PB not to let you go on your terms. "woman, you leave when I tell you to leave, and if you're thinking of leaving me, forget it, I'm kicking you out 'cause I'm the man." I always found the decision makers over there to be that way.

I'm glad you left them. I don't agree that you can do more by raising debate over there. By being a part of their group, you give your stamp of approval, whether you want to or not. Worse than that, they can exert some control over you. On some things, like women's rights, there is no debate. Just the clear statement of women's rights to determine their own fate.

They want to muddy the term "progressive" to boost their numbers by allowing atavisms to ride under their banner, just shows what sell-outs they are.

Fuck 'em and their soother called hypocrisy.

fern hill said...

Yeah, I did wonder whether the boyos donned their ritual wife-beaters and high-fived each other while they were turfing us.


Niles said...

I don't think the manner of parting is a great surprise to anyone. The aggregator is already taking a verbal kicking on all sides from credible progressive voices in the Canadian blogging community. They likely presumed it masochistic to let a few more swings of the exit door hit them in the collective nose. Amputation at least affords them the luxury of not hosting their own roasting.

From the sounds of it, the aggregator has aggravated more than a few readers with what it allowed inside the pervue of 'progressive' and DJ!'s aggressive rather than slipping quietly into the night rejection of that has ripped the bandage off.

I guess the best we can do now is attend to the death and resurrection of internets webbery placement and wish them a happy zombie day with all its attendant, highly moral religiosity and blood sacrifice torture scenarios being flagellantly, ecstatically and mortifyingly re-enacted by devotees around the world.

You know, the exact kind of people I want dictating the use of all womben's bodies.

the regina mom said...

I've requested the regina mom be removed from so-called ProgBlogs because "I will not be associated with an organization of any sort that believes women's fundamental right to freedom of the person is up for debate."

The response? Wait for it!

"The organization believes nothing of the sort.. it isnt official Prog Blog policy.. it IS official Prog Blog policy to allow freedom of beliefs and expression on touchy topics like this. The reaction to this is way overblown and over the top.

Your request will be honoured when I have the time to do so."

So, now our full emancipation as human beings is a "touchy topic!" Fuck that bullshit, I say!

fern hill said...

That's amazing, trm. How many fucking ways can they say 'we are totally absolutely abysmally CLUELESS'?

Niles said...

so, it's a libertarian aggregator then? all things to all people?

Beijing York said...

Really? A "touchy topic"? Sheesh, sounds like that was lifted from an episode of Mad Men.

deBeauxOs said...

I'm posting this on behalf of 'Godel Noodle' who's having difficulties with our comments system, at the moment.

There are no nuances that need debating when it comes to my right to decide what I do with my body FULL STOP.

Doesn't everyone agree with that part, though? I think the problem is that the crotch-nosing*, neo-con evangelists are trying to push the idea that a foetus is a person--and while there are no debatable nuances concerning what you do with your own body, there are obviously debatable nuances concerning what you do with another person's body. That's the trap.

I think that's where the argument needs to be focused--if indeed an argument is to be forced upon us at all. A foetus is no more a person than an acorn is a tree. Calling attention to the fact that it's a human rights issue seems to go nowhere because both sides fully agree with that statement. It's just that each side is looking at a different human (or at least a different organism). The vernacular actually works against us here. Ideally it should be "people's rights" rather than "human rights."

I just think statements like the one I quoted above tend to invite those condescending, stroke-inducing, soft-spoken replies of agreement before the "but" which is followed by a big spew of misogynist vomit. It's sort of discursive suicide.

*Special thanks to deBeauxOs for the adjective "crotch-nosing." :-)

Note from deBeauxOs: I believe that it was JJ at unrepentant old hippie who first used that expression.

Godel Noodle said...

Oh, sorry. This was supposed to be in reply to "Kicking Butt with an Arthritic Knee." Also, it appears my commenting problems have been resolved (I generally don't accept third-party cookies), but I sent that one to deBeauxOs mainly to find out whether it would be appropriate for me to post here (or whether I should just keep my fool mouth shut)--especially during a time of upheaval like this.

Beijing York said...

Legally, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women have full autonomy of their bodies and that has put an end to the argument of giving an embryo or fetus equal rights to the woman carrying it. Once that toe is out of the birth canal, then it has the same human rights afforded to men and women. There's no need in blurring the lines here. Making it people's rights over human rights will barely make a difference. especially since the concept of personhood applies to both people and humans.

Godel Noodle said...

There's no need in blurring the lines here.

Sorry, which lines do you mean? I think I was suggesting sharpening lines rather than blurring them.

Making it people's rights over human rights will barely make a difference. especially since the concept of personhood applies to both people and humans.

Hmm... But aren't even embryos considered humans (at least biologically)? That's the part I think causes a bit of trouble. It's MUCH harder to argue that a foetus is a "person" than it is to argue that it's a "human."

Niles said...


It's the same approach as arguing, as Mr Gordy Canuck blithely did, that the Theory of Evolution is...just a theory, ergo, God and Patriarchy or something. Same crowd too, so no surprise there. They're deliberately playing with common usage parlance versus legal parlance to queer popular comprehension on the subject *and* have plausible deniability that they are cloning the same extremist bovine excrement of 'personhood' for diploid cells being loudly proclaimed in the US.

Nono, it's all about a nuanced liberal understanding of human life, not ideological dictates. Pay no attention to the pastors behind the curtain, they're simply adjusting their tax-free benefits to allow for the government monies they're getting.

Godel Noodle said...

It's the same approach as arguing, as Mr Gordy Canuck blithely did, that the Theory of Evolution is...just a theory, ergo, God and Patriarchy or something. Same crowd too, so no surprise there. They're deliberately playing with common usage parlance versus legal parlance...

I think that's consistent with what I was saying. The word "human" is open for deliberate context-obfuscation where the "person" is not--or at least not to the same extent (then again, I guess there's that issue involving corporations).

So I'm saying it's unfortunate we're stuck with the term "human rights" (instead of "people's rights") in the same way it's unfortunate that the word "theory" is used in common parlance (differently than the way it is used in science and math). To do my part in mitigating the latter problem, I use the word "conjecture" where it would be otherwise common to use the word "theory."

fern hill said...

I like that. Replacing 'theory' with 'conjecture'. *stealing*

Scott in Montreal said...

I haven't read all the comments. I agree with you, DJ, that if PB encompasses these sorts of views, it's debatable whether it's worth associating yourselves with them. Just don't forget: the weasels know how to hack into kids' brains and sow doubt. If you disengage from the debate, I pray that in so doing, you don't also give up such fertile ground to the jackasses who know disgustingly well how to sow it.

I guess another aggregate might spring forth...

opit said...

Funny about that. It was surfing Scott in Montreal via Galloping Beaver that brought me here.... again. I make no representations: you blog, I read. And you can be 'out' any time the shoe doesn't fit : no huhu.
The thing is - I like people who take the time to have deeply felt positions.
The reason birth is taken as a separate person's arrival is simple: what else could it be ?

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