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Post by The Wisp on Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:15 pm

No sure if this is best subforum for this, so mods you can move it if you want.

I said:

TheWisp wrote:Because somebody made a claim I see often that I feel is problematic, so I pushed back.

Nobody seems upset when other posters do that.

And Wondering was going to respond.
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Post by Wondering on Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:24 pm

Yes! I will respond to this, but probably in a couple hours. The baby wants out of her playpen to wreak havoc at the moment. Smile

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Post by Wondering on Tue Jul 07, 2015 8:40 pm

So, here's the thing I see. I see a pattern of this with your posts on the main site and here in the forum. (And I admit I don't read all the posts on the main site, so I'm clearly missing things that may add other context.)

You often seem to come into threads that are about a particular topic and pick some point, that isn't the main point of the thread or discussion but is usually one of your sticking points, and comment on that, often to the distraction if not derailment of the conversation.

You say other people do this and it's not a problem. But I don't notice other posters doing this all the time. For me, it has gotten to a point where when I see your name as the last poster in a thread here in the forum that wasn't started by you, I brace myself for what tangential point you're going to have made and how much the original poster's conversation has been pulled off track. This is, of course, not what always happens, but it's happened often enough that I do find myself bracing for it.

We all have particular issues and topics that we feel need more attention. And you have legitimate points to make on these topics about how they're being overlooked, but those points don't always need to be made where and how you're making them. Often, they do detract from the main point of the thread, and too often hit those "what about the men?" buttons that people object to.

I get the desire; I do. There are particular statements and issues on topics that bug me and I always want to comment on, too. Sometimes I do this and it distracts from a conversation here or in real life. As an example, I have a particular problem every time the topic of diabetes comes up. Boy, does it raise my hackles when people say "diabetes" and they really only mean Type 2. And all the attendant issues of Type 1 being invisible and forgotten, or assumed to be the same as Type 2. It's infuriating to me. People make comments about diabetes in passing fairly often (if you're sensitive to it, you hear it). And I always want to respond. Always. But I had friends tell me once that I do this all the time and they were getting fatigued of it. I was surprised. I hadn't realized I was doing it so often. I mean, there's so much ignorance about Type 1, shouldn't I correct it when I can? It might save a life, like mine! But it's not always the right place. So I've had to learn when to not bother, when to tread carefully, when it's appropriate, and when I honestly just don't care and forge ahead to the annoyance of everyone anyway and accept the consequences of that. It is something I continue to work on.

You and I are not the only ones who feel a legitimate need to talk about issues that we feel strongly are being overlooked. But doing so to detract from the main topic is often very self-indulgent. It can mean: "My particular side issue is more important than the discussion. I am interrupting to expand on it." And that's not always the best choice. For socialization and for getting the real point across.

You want to talk about the many ways you see men maligned, mistrusted, or their issues ignored, particularly the ones that affect you personally. That's legitimate. But the places you do so aren't always. You came into my thread about birth control commenting about how you didn't like Vasagel and didn't think women would trust men. Not the place. You came into a comment thread on the blog about a particular woman stating she'd seen more men refusing condoms, and commented about women refusing condoms. That, I think, sat badly with people and then predisposed them to react even worse to your later comment about abortion. You came into a thread today where people were countering one of those "oh-so-reasonable" MRAs' toxic views and statements about women and pulled out one portion of a larger point someone was making countering his statements to disagree with. It's a pattern.

As another example, Marty used to do similar things at times: Come into threads and turn the conversation to her particular concern. She got called out on it. She doesn't do that anymore.

There are other ways to deal with this need/desire. You can choose to make a new thread to bring up the issue so it doesn't detract from the conversation that spawned it. That's an advantage to online conversations that in-person ones don't have. You can choose not to comment at all because it's really not necessary even though it really bothers you. You can choose to forge ahead regardless of the response. But you should be prepared for the response.

So, when I say think about this and why are you doing this, I'm not asking for specific, particular responses to the instances I've cited. I'm saying, when you see something that raises your hackles, ask yourself if responding there, at that time and place, is the choice you want to make. And if so, why do you want to make it? And are you prepared for people to not receive it well if it's not the right place?


Last edited by Wondering on Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:37 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammatical clarity)

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Post by The Wisp on Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:45 pm

Thank you for the response!

The analogies, in particular, were helpful. I think I can see more clearly now what the issue is.

I guess I've fallen into a habit of trying to peel off discussion on the topics I care about from other discussions. I think part of the reason is I get emotional when I see those things. I also think I don't necessarily feel comfortable starting threads just so I can ramble about a certain issue with no context for what provoked it. Also, the last few of these I made didn't go over so well, so I'm more reluctant to do that.

Maybe I should take a step back and remember to really consider whether raising an issue is worth the trouble. It doesn't seem to be working, and just creates antagonism.

Thanks for helping me gain some perspective on this.
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Post by Conreezy on Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:31 am

I think part of the reason is I get emotional when I see those things. I also think I don't necessarily feel comfortable starting threads just so I can ramble about a certain issue with no context for what provoked it.

For what it's worth, I also feel this way. But that's also why I don't post much--I skim along the conversations that don't interest me, waiting for the occasional discussions that hit my pet topics. Other people get emotional, too, so rather than barge across their pet topic insensitively, which I do all the time in real life, I just stay out of it.

I'll add this, since I'm here and it seems relevant: it seems to me that a lot of the "fights" that occur happen because many posters (not just you) want to academically scrutinize every particular nuance of the discussion without tempering that analysis with real world experience. A lot of the counter-points, and "yeah, but what ifs" wouldn't come up with less focus on the theory and more practice.

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Post by kath on Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:20 am

I have some sort of conflicted backgrounds that I'm working on figuring how I can integrate in a way I think is authentic and "true" (or like, matches all my values well). When people talk about ANYTHING that intersects those axes (which is like, a lot of things), I sort of want to reframe conversations to consider that perspective ... but I usually don't, because I'm somewhat conflict averse, and also, I am trying to be aware of like, what the conversation was originally about. But I also feel like I should say those things, and I still feel conflicted.

Which is to say, I feel you, and that lots of other people probably struggle with this, even if the struggle isn't one you can see playing out (or not very often).

Also recently I was in a workshop and there were two parts of it that might be relevant / that I have found helpful when I'm thinking about how I navigate these conflicted feelings:


  • Advocacy vs. Inquiry and maintaining a balance. Advocacy is Resolutely Making Your Point. Inquiry is asking questions to figure out more about the other person's perspective. One generally has better, more productive conversations if one is trying to balance both strategies.
  • Assuming Positive Intentions - I didn't get this just from the workshop, and I think the internet is one of the most difficult places to do this, but it's also the one where I think it's most useful - trying to assume positive intentions (or failing that, trying to avoid assuming negative intentions before clarifying) can really help me reframe a conversation, get the point they're getting at, and respond to it, versus getting wires crossed many times at the outset.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:05 am

kath wrote:Which is to say, I feel you, and that lots of other people probably struggle with this, even if the struggle isn't one you can see playing out (or not very often).

QFT.

In many of these sorts of situations, the "optimal" move is to abstain from the discussion (or at least be really selective about which parts to get into). So, by its own nature, you never actually see other people make the "right" move. You only see examples of when we suffer a lapse in judgment (or something else seems to outweigh it that makes us decide to hell with the other consequences!! or something of that type).
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