Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Fairy-Tale Autopsies

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  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Did I miss the whole "Damien O'Connor is a bigot" thread? Sorry if so but he didn't actually say anything offensive to my mind, unless the words "gays" and "unionists" lumped together are somehow too rude to be said out loud... I just do not get why anyone got at all jumpy about this.

    In general, if a group in society has a history of being persecuted and demonised - like gay people - you need to be really careful about the way you criticise them, or even if criticism is justified, lest you be seen, rightly or wrongly as perpetuating the persecution.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I actually don't know what Sacha wants us to do with people who don't listen, because everybody has Listening Fails sometimes.

    The key word there is "sometimes". I'm talking all the times.

    And unless you believe in unfettered individual freedom to disrupt a conversation at the expense of many others, it seems pretty straightforward to ban them after warnings.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Of the two people I had in mind when I wrote this - neither of them Danyl - no, actually . . .

    My mistake

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Don't worry, Danyl, you're totally inspirational to ME.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    In general, if a group in society has a history of being persecuted and demonised – like gay people – you need to be really careful about the way you criticise them, or even if criticism is justified, lest you be seen, rightly or wrongly as perpetuating the persecution.

    Thanks for that - but honestly, is that it? Makes it sound like gays are some sort of endangered species then... whereas in my experience, friends and family who just happen to be gay, also happen to be pretty tough nuts. Maybe that's because of past persecution and society, or even present - but surely merely mentioning a subset of society is hardly offensive? And, ditto unionists.

    Oddly, a quick search reveals that Kiwiblog also deemed O'Connor's comments offensive to his colleagues.

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I am astonished when people complain about the treatment the p-troll has received here. I have to assume it's because they haven't seen the worst of the comments that have been deleted - ableist, homophobic, violent.

    To be fair, without that context some of Kracklite's recent responses did seem a bit like pulling wings off flies. It's a tricky line to walk.

    We've discussed before how moderation protects us from our own responses to perceived violation when someone is disrupting conversation and community. It's like how one of the functions of our justice system is to protect us from our own very human inclinations for retribution that can bring out our worst and cause us harm.

    We are a diverse bunch with a range of ability to thrive on fuzziness and uncertainty, and a variety of beliefs about community, justice, forgiveness and redemption. That makes for interesting and sometimes challenging discussions. But there is a balance to be found where tension is more creative or destructive. I've learned a lot watching my own responses and it has been humbling.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danielle,

    Don’t worry, Danyl, you’re totally inspirational to ME.

    I've always said you looked like Carly Simon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Carly Simon.

    heh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Re: Richard's question about O'Connor...

    To me it's offensive because he's reducing a group of people to one feature of their lives. The gays in O'Connors mind all seem to want the same thing (or have the same "agenda", if you will) - and that's not the same thing that the majority of Labour supporters want. It's like because they're gay, he doesn't think they care about the issues that his Labour supporters care about - employment, housing costs, childcare, a fair minimum wage, social freedoms, the 'family'.

    So he's dehumanising people (i.e. me) by saying that our political beliefs and goals are less valid than his because we happen to have sex with people who have the same sexy bits. Yeah, that's pretty offensive.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Makes it sound like gays are some sort of endangered species then… whereas in my experience, friends and family who just happen to be gay, also happen to be pretty tough nuts. Maybe that’s because of past persecution and society, or even present – but surely merely mentioning a subset of society is hardly offensive? And, ditto unionists.

    Women are hardly an endangered species either, but that didn't make John Tamihere's comments about All Teh Womenz And Gayz Conspiring Against Me acceptable criticism. A history of persecution is usually regarded as a reason to not go out of one's way to casually stereotype a group and/or accuse them of conspiracy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Richard, you're aware of LGBT youth suicide rates? Experience of being bullied? In any case, I'd be very wary of telling other people what they should and shouldn't be offended by. "Didn't offend you" doesn't mean "not offensive".

    In any case, no, you haven't missed the "Damien O'Connor is a bigot" thread, because there wasn't one. So you're defending him against an argument nobody was making. Though obviously we can make it if you want.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4618 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Not telling anyone how to be offended or not... offence is a personal act, or should be.

    Good to hear some perspectives on why it was offensive. The media thing seemed like a beat-up to me.

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Peter West, in reply to Andrew Stevenson,

    usually one of the regular contributors says what I was thinking, but in a far better manner then my posts can – and the thread has progressed by the time I finish typing my less adequate response

    As a lurker, that's almost exactly what I was going to say. In fact I had already typed the following, but was distracted by more pressing work:

    Ideas are seldom unique. Someone with similar views to me will express them, possibly more eloquently, and certainly with less effort on my part. The last part is key - once you enter a discussion, it seems a little rude not to respond to replies, and so I choose to enter into them only when I think I have something unique to contribute, or if I am particularly interested in it.

    So, somewhat ironically, my sentiment seems to apply to this very post. Might have to go back to lurking for a while :-)

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2011 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Richard Wain,

    Good to hear some perspectives on why it was offensive. The media thing seemed like a beat-up to me.

    Of course, it was also news because it was it was the very last fucking headline Goff and his party needed this week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Richard wrote:

    Thanks for that - but honestly, is that it? Makes it sound like gays are some sort of endangered species then... whereas in my experience, friends and family who just happen to be gay, also happen to be pretty tough nuts. Maybe that's because of past persecution and society, or even present - but surely merely mentioning a subset of society is hardly offensive

    Maybe someone gay wants to speak to this, but generally members of disempowered groups struggle for political representation, so it's not terribly fair if - when they recieve it - members of more privileged groups throw temper tantrums and accuse them of malign conspiracies.

    Emma wrote:

    In any case, no, you haven't missed the "Damien O'Connor is a bigot" thread, because there wasn't one. So you're defending him against an argument nobody was making.

    In your original post you refer to O'Connor as a homophobe and several other commentators have spoken to this, so your snappy little comment seems - to me - like yet another example of a PAS regular being pointlessly poisonous.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it was the very last fucking headline Goff and his party needed this week

    Scoring the lead story on both 6pm TV news bulletins was a spectacular piece of foot-shootery.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Oh, Danyl. Pointlessly poisonous? Really?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    In your original post you refer to O'Connor as a homophobe and several other commentators have spoken to this, so your snappy little comment seems - to me - like yet another example of a PAS regular being pointlessly poisonous.

    Seriously, Danyl? Because what I actually said was:

    Consider Damien O'Connor. Is he a Tink – a genuine anti-union homophobe – or was he just trolling the Labour Party?

    See that curly thing on the end? That's a question-mark. I'm asking, I honestly don't know the answer. I don't know O'Connor. Nevertheless, the question received almost no attention before Richard raised it. But at no point did I call Damien O'Connor a homophobe.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4618 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    In your original post you refer to O’Connor as a homophobe and several other commentators have spoken to this, so your snappy little comment seems – to me – like yet another example of a PAS regular being pointlessly poisonous.

    Blogger expresses possibly harsh thought about politician. Astonishing. I have never seen its like before.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Peter West,

    So, somewhat ironically, my sentiment seems to apply to this very post. Might have to go back to lurking for a while :-)

    That just made it all the more poignant. Thanks for your contribution, hope to see some more.

    I've experienced this quite literally thousands of times. In the end, I figured "well, another way of saying the same thing isn't bad. Perhaps my way might click for someone better." So I post it anyway. What the hell - I never claimed to be the most original writer!

    But I can fully understand that time requirements and the expectation of following up any responses can be a heavy burden. Also, the first posts are the hardest, because one can feel that it's important to make the right impression. If you're struggling with this, but want to post, I can only say what I think about that - that unless you want to make a big splash, there is no requirement to do so, it's perfectly possible to slip in quietly in the warm pool first, or splash about in the shallows, before getting the pluck to take a huge bomb from the 10m board.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10488 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Okay, couple of things.

    First, I can Bore For My Country on web moderation. People know this. And many of them have heard me discuss this "what to do with Tinks" issue over the last couple of years. It's at the forefront of my mind right now because I have a new super-secret project in the offing, which will hopefully be disclosable shortly.

    Also, I'd like to draw a parallel between the "gay sensitivity" thing and web communities. A strong community can deal with something like lil p's latest foray because it has the resilience. One that has to deal with a lot more trolling, that gets picked on - like openly LGBT or feminist communities - might have a lot more trouble, and need more intervention. I don't think I've put that very well. I'll have some lunch and ponder it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Emma Hart,

    A strong community can deal with something like lil p's latest foray because it has the resilience.

    True. How do we nurture that?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    yet another example of a PAS regular being pointlessly poisonous

    I would wholeheartedly embrace the idea of Danyl wearing an apricot scarf, but I have a feeling that Warren Beatty never *whined* this much.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Just in this morning from Nielsen: Public Address has the highest proportion of "high internet users" -- 39.2% -- of any NZ website it tracks.

    Unlimited and Computerworld are 2nd and 3rd, and The Standard 10th. No sign of Kiwiblog.

    For purposes of clarity, "high internet users" means "people who use the internet for 20+ hours per week" and NOT "people who use the internet while high".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Danielle,

    I would wholeheartedly embrace the idea of Danyl wearing an apricot scarf, but I have a feeling that Warren Beatty never *whined* this much.

    I have someone that song reminds me of (who doesn't, etc), and now Danyl looks exactly like that in my head.

    Not ignoring Sacha's question. Lunch, pondering, etc.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4618 posts Report Reply

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