We’ve got a beautiful thing here, don’t we? And, from my perspective, the greatest thing about it is that it’s a massive, open-ended, and unedited conversation–complete with typos, sleep-deprived grammar, and the occasional ugliness generated by misunderstandings (and, yes, sometimes generated by very clear understandings indeed!)
If we lose this “anything goes” attitude–man, we’ve got nothing left!
Now look. I disagree with Johanna Draper Carlson on almost every point she makes on her blog (even her frequent wheedling of “bigots”–of whom I’m no fan, I assure you–is so censoriously offputting that I find myself wanting to see their side of things!). Her brand of “feminism for women only” seems to me to participate in an essentialization of the feminine that hearkens back to Victorian “separate spheres theory”, and her disavowal of any interest in “sordid” subject matter gives me pause. On top of which, she judges works of art based on their “worth”, which is a far more defensible position than essentialist feminism or a devotion to bourgeois escapism, but still, I think you know where I stand on that question too! So yeah, I don’t think her ideas are helpful ones, and I want to combat them.
But I have never attempted to do anything to interfere with her ability to make her points, and if, as she claims, I have often been guilty of misinterpreting what she has said, I’m just idealistic enough to want to leave the decision on that matter up to the reading public (it’s immaterial what she or I think she is saying, isn’t it?)
Anyway, the latest incident between us is an extremely unpleasant one, and, frankly, I think she ought to be ashamed of herself. If I am wrong, well, too bad for me right? You will be the judges of that, my friends!
Question: is it ever okay to tamper with the comment-threads attached to your posts? I would say no. If you can’t deal with comments, don’t invite them. I will never delete anything that comes up here, I can assure you of that! Perhaps, you might argue, a blogger would be justified in taking this action if the comment in question contained truly objectionable (maybe Johanna would call it “tricky”) material (and you see how this feeds back into the question that spawned the debate, right?) Fine. But what’s objectionable? Threats. I can see that. Swearing? Less justifiable, but I’ll even grant the censors that one, if they want it. How about accusing a blogger of avoiding the issues at hand? Or, even, just being guilty of “mischaracterizing” their arguments?
Apparently, that’s enough for Johanna Draper Carlson. Check it out. What does that look like? That I showed up and threw a crazy fit right? Well, I did nothing of the kind, and hopefully the people who saw what I wrote before she removed it will testify to that fact. It was not a “friendly” post, but it was not threatening or vulgar in any way. If I had ever dreamed that she would stoop to this level, I would’ve kept a copy of the text, just to show you what I mean. If I recall correctly, what I said was that I was not going to apologize for seeing some affinities between her position and good ol’ “dead chicks and mayhem”‘s, because I see the affinities more clearly than ever now, and that if she wanted to change my mind on this subject, she would have to stop browbeating me and attempt to persuade me instead. I also accused her of being ruled by “editorial pique”, and, on that score, it looks like I was more right than I knew!
Anyway, I’m not enjoying writing this entry, I can tell you that! I love debate, and it’s impossible to rile me, unless you start playing these kinds of games. I had nothing “personal” against Johanna Draper Carlson before now–and I still don’t, I suppose… I mean, we’re not actually acquainted, right? We’re just so many words to each other!
Unfortunately, I am now a few less words to her–and her readers!–than I ought to be. And that’s just sad…
Good Night friends!