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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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i can't think of an appropriate subject line
children of dune - leto 1
Well. Okay. Still in the meta link phase of my fannish development while trying to write a blowjob between two assassins. One this time:

Don't Be That Guy by synedochic - I'll quote below because summarizing won't cut it.

And I pulled that together, and I thought about a dear friend of mine, who is -- genuinely and with all sincerity -- one of the Good Guys, someone who understands the fact that he has straight white male privilege even if he doesn't always spot it in action in the wild. We were talking about privilege (in another context, before this blew up), and he said something I found really sad -- not that it makes me sad about him, but sad about the society -- which was (paraphrased) that he knows he has this privilege and he doesn't want to fumble around and make things worse for people by accidentally displaying it. So he stays out of those conversations, because he doesn't want to impose and make people uncomfortable. Which I think is an admirable attitude, really (because, you know, not making things worse is a pretty good starting point). But he's scared that he's going to accidentally be That Guy, and he says that he knows some of the things that would make him into That Guy but not all of them, and he really, really, really doesn't want to trip over one of the others.

But all of this input came together, and I think I'm finally ready to take a stab at this. I'm going to try to articulate the concept of That Guy, as I see it. Disclaimers and my epic longwindedness behind the cut.

It's--well, amazing at articulating a lot of what's hard to articulate; how do you explain a feeling or an instinct, quantify an exchange you know felt wrong and aren't sure why? It's hard to do.

Anyway. I'm still thinking about it; it's good stuff.

ETA: (this happens *every time* I post a link. I find another one!)

When You Take The Fun Out, They're Just Bags - I am going to express my glee in quotes:

I gotta say this about nerds. They're ingenious little bastards. Out of the core raw ingredients of desperation, fetishism, and limited worldview, they are able to create completely new and innovative areas of Dumb. They are the MacGyvers of stupidity. They are, quite literally, idiot savants.

The only way it could possibly be more awesome is if the word 'veritable' was placed before McGyvers. And that's just because I like the word veritable and feel strongly we should use it more. Read it all.

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I am veritably filled with glee!

Unfortunately the Be a Better Nerd guy lost me with his followup post: "You did for breasts what fanfic does to intellectual property. You saw someone else's toys, you wanted to play with them, and you found some loophole to convince yourself that it was OK even when it's not."

*g* I read that and laughed softly to myself. Because physical invasion is just like teh written word. *sighs*

Both columns, you may note, focused on the flaws in the mindset of the groper, not the effect on potential gropees. Plenty of other people have covered how awful this idea would be for women at cons.

From the standpoint of the OSBP people, though? Physical invasion really IS just like the written word - the sense that their love of X translates inherently into emotional investment in X, and therefore partial ownership of X. Whether that's a pair of boobs across the hall, or William Riker's sex life, it's the same underlying mentality.

I didn't notice so much that both columns were indeed entirely from the headspace of the groper, but I did catch the withering contempt for any women who would give consent and his dismissal of the idea that any woman would agree to such a thing if she weren't desperate for male attention and/or nastily amused at tantalizing geekboys.

It was the side crack at fanfic that gave me a sentence or two that really got my back up and tagged all three pieces (including the one he linked to making his opinion of those kind of fangirls explicit) as being fanboy telling the fangirls how they ought to behave, as a mere sideline to the far more important issue of laying down the law to lesser-evolved fanboys.

You Are Dumb Dot Net tells everyone how to behave. It'd be part of the mission statement if I could stand mission statements. I wasn't planning to register the imokyoureok.net domain when my keyboard slipped.

And not "from" the headspace of the groper, "about" the headspace of the groper. As for withering contempt, I'll cop to that - but again, see "mission statement".

That said, you followed one link backwards... did you follow two links backwards?


Speaking to the vast majority of unhealthy broken people doesn't mean I deny the existence of a minority of healthy unbroken people. It just means I don't care.

Thanks for that link, I guess -- when browsing through that handful of his posts, I clicked the link for the "Manifesto" but it was miscoded and I didn't care enough to start browsing through his sidebar or wherever to track it down.

And the mission statement just confirms me in my opinion -- I don't feel any particular obligation to take notice of the statements of someone who's got an entire series of columns telling people why he's better than them and what they should do to earn his respect. He has not earned my respect as someone whose opinion I should care about, and further has given me reason in just three posts to not care what he thinks.

Then I won't ask you to participate in the traditional annual Tell Someone About You Are Dumb Day event scheduled for tomorrow. Thanks for the feedback, even though it's delivered in a cold and impersonal third-person.

On further reflection, if it were just telling other "nerds" how to be better people, I would have probably applauded it as the kind of guide to etiquette a lot of geeks need, or at worst done no more than drawn some private conclusions about the kind of self-loathing for the OP's current or former self that was driving some of the posts.

But this week, after some of the meta discussions I've been reading and participating in, my tolerance for men passing judgement on women's behavior (when not actively trying to change or control it) is at an unbefuckinglievably low ebb.

I'm having the same problem. I'm trying to decontextualize from it, since I know that != what's going on now, and been skipping until I'm a little less sensitive to current tides.

Admittedly, my last comment was the one where the penny finally dropped that I was conversing with the guy who writes that other blog rather than just someone who'd read more of it than I had. Because my assumption was that he was getting sloppy with indicating direct quotes rather than actually speaking for himself.

But, yeah. I'm writing some meta in my LJ post for today rather than getting tl;dr in someone else's journal for a tangential discussion on an unrelated OP. But I'm trying to extend my awareness of various contexts.

Well no. It's not. writing != doing That's why I can cheerfully write homicidal orgy fanfic and not find myself caught up in criminal proceedings for murder. I do see what you're saying in terms of mindset, but the comparison is not really workable, since one falls under an action based crime violating physical body integrity and the other doesn't.

If I get angry and kick a wall and scratch it, and if the next day, I get angry and kick you in the nuts, in both cases I'm lashing out in anger with my foot. One of them is just a lot more destructive than the other.

Now, as a fanfic writer yourself (apparently), I don't expect you to necessarily agree with my theory that both fanfic and the OSBP have their roots in the traditional and widespread nerd sense of entitlement, but the fact that the end results in two different contexts are different doesn't actually work as an argument against the theory.

Well, no. You're still using analogies in equaling property to people.

Now, as a fanfic writer yourself (apparently), I don't expect you to necessarily agree with my theory that both fanfic and the OSBP have their roots in the traditional and widespread nerd sense of entitlement, but the fact that the end results in two different contexts are different doesn't actually work as an argument against the theory.

Well, that I actually don't care that much about. Entitlement, shaking fingers, ruined childhoods, IP law, dancing bears, big foot. I'll leave this part as unargued since a.) I'd have to read it in full as an essay and not a side issue and b.) it's more intersting to argue while actually writing fic and not just talking about the writing of fic.

I'm more concerned with the fact you continue to equate IP with inappropriate sexual contact. I'm *extremely* uncomfortable with setting my bodily integrity as equal to IP. And yes, I can see why you're making the comparison (and I think it would work as a theoretical exercise, actually), but as relates to this discussion, it's not really analogous. Mostly because a lot of the issues currently are wrapped around women, their bodily integrity, and rape, and your analogy can be reinterpreted as fanfic == rape. Really. Not a good time.

If you are working slowly toward that point, it would be a *lot* less skeevy to do it at a time when half of LJ isn't doing group shares on their rape and sexual harassment and who can categorically state that fanfic really, really is not anything like rape.

Edited at 2008-05-01 02:50 pm (UTC)

Since we appear to differ at an astonishing level on the meaning of the word "equate", I'll leave it at that and thank you for the link and your extensive friends list, which has been doing nice things to my traffic all week.

*amused* You're welcome.

I've only read backward a limited amount (due to time), but I haven't laughed this hard in forever. It's seriously awesome writing. Not to mention deeply, deeply fun and immensely quotable. I do thank you for the convo and for the work on the site; it's excellent, excellent stuff. Feel absolutely free to disagree with me at any time.

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