I am...

I am a friend. A friend to women who I met when I was 5 years old, ones I met in high school, college, grad school. Women I met as a postdoc, as a faculty member, as an inhabitant of my community. They work in any number of professions from publication to politics to public health to scientific research to mainstream media to education, etc, etc. Many different walks of life. Many of them experience uncomfortable moments, sustained toxic work environments and/or flagrant discrimination in their working lives. I like my friends. Their continued happiness and well being is important to me.


I am a boss and a mentor. Women work for me and with me on my various professional activities. In my laboratory or in their own. Sure, I appreciate them professionally for the cool science we can do together. But they are great people as well. People who I like and respect. Their continued happiness and well being is important to me. When they face uncomfortable or discriminatory work conditions based on their gender...it matters. To me.
I am a husband. My spouse is a professional person working, as it happens, in the sciences. Her happiness and well-being.....those are essential to me. Essential. If she faces uncomfortable or discriminatory work conditions it matter. A lot.
I am a father. Of a nonzero number of miniwomen. The eventual professional development and attainment of any daughter of mine will be influenced by views on the role of women in the workplace and in specific professions. It is important to me that things are more accepting and equal when that time comes.


"Why are you preaching, DM?" you will ask. We love our spouses, children, colleagues, trainees and old friends as well. Their happiness is important to us too.
Is it? How can you possibly leer at some stranger's picture on the internet and "compliment" her on her physical appearance while professing frank ignorance of her work which is the subject of the forum? How can you possibly snicker that "she prolly likes the attention, hur, hur, hur"? (Hint: She doesn't)
If you have a wife or a sister or a female friend or colleague that you respect in your life....how can you possibly think it is understandable, okay or remotely defensible to talk about physical attractiveness in a professional context?
It is not.
So where do we go from here? Punching you right in your ignorant nose is right out, much as I would like to do so. On behalf not merely of Sheril but of my friends, employees, trainees, spouse, offspring and women everywhere. And for myself. I take this nonsense personally.
This is not the most productive of stereotypical male traits, I realize. We can try to explain the deficiencies in your world view. Try to explain to you why your supposedly harmless little comments and compliments are hurtful. I do hope you are listening to what you are being told.
Try to get beyond your tendency to want to make this all about you and your freedom to spout whatever you want, wherever you care to. It isn't about you and the festering resentment you harbor for attractive women, cheerleaders or whatnot that failed to give you the time of day in high school and college. This is about making the world a better place for all of us.

73 responses so far

  • JessSnark says:

    Thank you.

  • Hear, hear. Thanks for posting this, Drug. I mentioned to PhysioProf, I've gotten similar comments on my blog, and there are a few sites out there with long exchanges by men making foul comments about my appearance and whether my blog is worth reading. Alas. It's heartening to see all the sciblings jump on this!

  • jc says:

    you are, DM, in spades.

  • ctenotrish says:

    Very nice post - thank you! More mentors/co-workers/spouses/Dads like you, please.

  • Yes, indeed you are DrugMonkey. Thank you.

  • Jane says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Can we clone you, please?

  • Brian X says:

    You know, it is irksome. Sheril is a very attractive woman, true, but it's not germane to what she's talking about; it's an issue she's addressed in the past and I wish people would realize that, even if they can't get the condecension issue through their heads, it's still horribly off-topic.
    (Yes, that is offensively pragmatic. But I'm trying to get into the thought process involved.)

  • Well said, DrugMonkey. I often wonder if these people treat their mothers and sister this way.

  • cashmoney says:

    ...or how they would react if someone else treated their mothers and sisters that way, Isis. wonder indeed...

  • larchnut says:

    Careful, careful. You might get accused of having some hidden nefarious purpose....
    http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics/2009/03/blogfight.php#comment-1500904
    Perhaps you folks have some dirty laundry at home to clean up before you go stomping around at Discover?

  • bill says:

    Nice one, DM.

  • Neal says:

    DrugMonkey,
    In a forum full of self-righteous windbags, you have won the prize for most insufferable. Your repetitive posturing ("I am ...", "I am ...") as some sort of guardian of womankind is not only ludicrously overblown, but also patronizing and sexist. And what sort of guardian are you? Apparently the kind who posts his colossal umbrage on his blog, and then making feeble threats of violence on behalf of "women everywhere."
    (Odd how sexual puritans of all stripes always try to maintain the macho quotient by playing up their violent tenancies.)
    Here's the truth: You weren't posting for the sake of "women everywhere", you were posting on your own behalf, just so you could strut around as morally superior to all those other guys.
    You know what offends me? "Offended" males pretending to be a great ally of women just because they recite cliche after hackneyed cliche on their blog. Tellingly, what prompted this outrage of yours wasn't the great evil of rape, or even the lesser evil of pay disparity, but rather some bawdy comments posted to a blog. You are "offended" because somewhere in the gutter of human communication some people dared to say what they honestly and naturally felt: Sheril Kirshenbaum is hot.
    Sound the misogyny alarm.
    Say what you will about anonymous commentators to blogs, at least they're sincere. And that honesty, sincerity and shamelessness about their sexual impulses is the crime that you, a heterophobic creep, eagerly prosecute them for.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    You weren't posting for the sake of "women everywhere", you were posting on your own behalf
    Yup. I sure was. Well, I suppose I should be satisfied that at least you comprehended part of it.

  • Dave says:

    Jeezus freaking christ. Is anyone else sickened by this post? I am about to barf. Seriously. DM, you are starting to remind me of that weird oily fat guy from college with the creepy Hallmark vocabulary offering 'fabulous backrubs' for his 'friends'. Trash the populist cloying appeals and get back to posting something interesting and informative. Please.
    Unless you are just hoping to get net-laid. In which case: Sorry I interrupted. Good luck, dude.

  • Science Bear says:

    Great post DM. There is a fine line one must walk as a woman in science, being either inadvertently overly sexualized or a wall-flower that's essentially gender neutral.
    Dr Isis made the excellent point on her blog of how out of place comments of this nature would seem if directed at a man from a woman.

  • PalMD says:

    Hmmm...what is it that you guys object to?
    Let me tell you a little secret. When you have a daughter, for example, you want nothing in the world so much as her happiness. Whatever she chooses to do with her life, i want her journey to be unhampered by asshats who judge her more by her appearance and her being a possible lust-object than by her considerable talents.
    It is through this gate that I am most able to empathize with what many women have to deal with daily.

  • whimple says:

    So... if it's their brains that are so important, why the picture of their faces? I'm with Dave and Neal in calling bullshit on this one.
    I also have to point out that if you ever want grandchildren, it's eventually going to be helpful for you to suppress that urge you have to punch out the nose of everyone that finds your kids attractive.

  • Sara says:

    Neal, you have the creep mistaken here. DM is not the creep for standing up for the women in his life. The people who focus on someone's looks on an intellectual blog (or in daily life) are the creeps. Here's the thing: all women I know are made uncomfortable by comments on their looks. It is a way of dismissing our worth as people. It is a shame that you don't see it that way, but the fact that many women do makes it worth your while, since you care about these things enough to comment here, to look into why that may be.
    Sincerely, good luck in that endeavor.

  • Sara says:

    I should add: a few young and attractive men I know also feel uncomfortable when they are praised for their looks out out context. Again, it may be intended as a compliment, but it comes across as dismissing a person's worth.

  • leigh says:

    thanks heartily, DM.

  • Scicurious says:

    DM, this is gorgeous.
    Neal and Dave: Pay disparities and the glass ceiling may very well make it difficult for women to succeed in many fields, but it is people who make those little comments that make it hard for us to even WANT to stay there. To focus on appearance over talent in a public forum is to belittle the talents of the person addressed, and that is to make them uncomfortable and upset. To belittle a woman's work is to belittle her intellect. It makes others like them take women less seriously, and makes the workplace a much harder place to be. It is illogical and illegitimate to ignore a problem that is so easy to fix with a little courtesy and respect. All that DM is calling for is respect and courtesy that you would extent to any one of your own sex, and he did it well. You, on the other hand, if you want to argue, need to at least try something a little better than an ad hominem attack. Put the keyboard down until you can type some sense.

  • PalMD says:

    and the comment about why put a picture up? Many don't because they don't want to distract from their content. Many do for various reasons, not the least of which is probably that it is nice to be able to put a face on someone---it creates a bond with your readers (but not in a creepy neal/dave kind of way)

  • Here's an interesting empirical question: What is the proportion of males versus females (to the extent that Internet personae present as one or the other) who, on the one hand, say "Oh, it's no big deal" or say about men who call out what they perceive as misogynist behavior "you're sanctimonious; you have a hidden agenda; you're patronizing", versus on the other hand, "This shit sucks, and thank you for calling it out"?
    You know what? It feels good to be a decent fucking person and to do what you can to help your friends. And it feels good when they thank you for it. If feeling good about helping your friends and being thanked for it is a hidden agenda, then count me in as a top-secret hidden-agenda-pursuing motherfucker.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    Pay disparities and the glass ceiling may very well make it difficult for women to succeed in many fields, but it is people who make those little comments that make it hard for us to even WANT to stay there.

    Which leads to the following action items:
    _________________________________________
    _________________________________________
    _________________________________________
    _________________________________________
    _________________________________________
    _________________________________________

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    It feels good to be a decent fucking person and to do what you can to help your friends. And it feels good when they thank you for it. If feeling good about helping your friends and being thanked for it is a hidden agenda, then count me in as a top-secret hidden-agenda-pursuing motherfucker.

    Well, if that floats your boat. However, I think the more appropriate label is "hypocritical cookie-fisher who dumps abuse on others for suggesting that cookies can alter behavior."

  • Marigold says:

    Behold readers, I am Marigold, Queen of the Lesbians. I have heard of your conflict. I come in peace to offer the Womynly Wisdom of my tribe.
    My people have learned to obtain harmony by listening to our female spirit. We believe that respect for our sacred sisters comes from expressing of our true nature, not denying it. If one among us would like to enjoy the fruits of another's body, true respect means being honest. Thus we sing praise of our glorious breasts, buttocks, and yoni. We are all children of the Goddess and deserve Her praise.
    I have learned of Sheril, who shines with the true feminine light. There is no shame is responding to that beauty. Indeed, the High Priestess Council has issued this proud decree: "Sheril is not only a fine scientist, but also one fine muff that we would love to stuff".
    Sheril, join us. We welcome you as a true sister. Let us shower your glorious body with the divine love of the Goddess. Ditch this "DrugMonkey." The only thing more useless than a man is a sanctimonious, castrated poser like that guy. Join us and we will teach you real power: Womyn Power.
    Sincerely,
    Marigold

  • Alex says:

    I think that DrugMonkey's post is sincerely offered and makes an important point. However, there is something of a chest-thumping aspect to it. Or at least it comes across that way.
    You know that Onion article about a Buddhist monk yelling "I am the serenest!"? It was funny because of the irony. Well, there's some of that here, with a guy proclaiming his sensitivity but sort of bragging about it. I'm waiting for him to thump his chest and yell "I'm more sensitive than all yall! Boo-yah!" and then crush a beer can on his forehead just to show how awesome he is.

  • human says:

    If any of those creepos actually read and understand your post, maybe they will understand why I was so disgusted, angry, horrified, and even frightened when my father came back from a Mardi Gras outing with photographs of a clearly underage girl's breasts. Message delivered: your own father thinks it's okay for much older men to leer at young women's breasts. A set that includes your own personal breasts.
    It was one of my first clues that he didn't actually like or respect me very much.

  • Chemgirl says:

    I wish I could turn it around for guys for a day, let them know what it feels like. But, y'know what, I can't think of any way that would even come close. There's plenty of "What do you say to a woman with two black eyes...nothing, you already told her twice" jokes but none about men.
    The best I can wish on you misogynist pigs is daughters. Daughters and daughters and daughters, and maybe then when you face fatherhood you will understand.

  • I've always dated nice guys, the kind who care about this sort of behavior as so well described by DrugMonkey (and PhysioProf in various locations). It was confusing to me when my girl friends dated creeps, because I never understood: Who taught them that it was ok for a guy to treat them like crap? That a guy who valued appearance over personhood could ever make a good partner?
    But then I met the people they grew up with. Turns out their fathers and brothers and teachers say stuff like, oh, Neal and Dave here. That's when I understood.

  • thanks! says:

    Thanks, DM and PP. First, it is of utmost importance to treat women as equals, as HUMAN BEINGS. There is nothing offensive stated in this post.
    Second, (and I would have thought this was obvious, but apparently not...) DM's use of the repeated "I am" phrase is stylistic, and not narcissistic. It's a common literary device called REPETITION. Obama uses it frequently as well to emphasize the main point. So get over it.

  • eddie says:

    They both look quite nice, but that doesn't detract from the fact that the Intersection was one of the few sciBlogs that censored my contribution. In that case it wasn't about incivility or inappropriateness. I cannot fathom why the comment got deleted. It's also notable that CPP's comment following one of those you linked to was heavily redacted.
    That's what we are coming to expect form self-appointed expert communicators? Good riddance to them.

  • eddie says:

    Oh, and ChemGirl @29.
    I think it's better for all of us if they don't have kids at all.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    There's plenty of "What do you say to a woman with two black eyes...nothing, you already told her twice" jokes but none about men.

    You obviously didn't grow up watching the same cartoons I did, but that particular one is about men. It's a sort of verbal Rorshach test.

  • Dave says:

    Uh, for the record:
    I never said any of the original comments about women or Sheril or anyone else were OK. All I said was that DM's post was annoying. But as long as we're comparing transgressions -- I'd way rather have someone focus on my physical appearance than insult my intelligence with the sort of cloying crap DM was oozing. Sure, he meant well. But really, it was still annoying.

  • hat_eater says:

    "I'm seriously pissed that my friends and loved ones suffer just because some men believe not just that it's OK to think with their dicks, but in fact that it's cool to admit to such belief in public. We should do something about it."
    That's how I understood DM's rant. I fail to find much else in what he wrote. I don't find it annoying, I'm actually similarly inclined.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    But as long as we're comparing transgressions -- I'd way rather have someone focus on my physical appearance than insult my intelligence with the sort of cloying crap DM was oozing.

    If that "cloying crap" is an annoying insult, what do we say about the disgraceful number of people for whom it's not just radical, but incomprehensible?

  • Dunc says:

    Man, there's nothing people hate more that having their attention drawn to their unexamined privileges, is there?

  • Hap says:

    1) I am just curious, but I didn't think that the first thing I was supposed to say to my female coworkers who are attractive is "Gee, you're hot.", because even if they are, that is sort of irrelevant to what they do and to my interactions with them. Why I would think it's appropriate with someone else whose relation with me (though indirect) is similar (we primarily get benefit from the information and opinions presented, with respect to which their appearance is not relevant) is apparently something my (deficient) upbringing has not taught me.
    2) Sometimes positive messages (even if they have self-congratulatory elements) have utility - if they were universally obvious, they wouldn't need to be said, and there would be no accusations of self-congratulation, because the behavior implicit in the message would be expected and not any cause for reward. The need to say the message (and the hostile response by some) indicates that the sentiment is not universal at all. Of course, in that case, claiming hostilely that saying the message is akin to masturbation is doubly problematic - because 1) it is obviously not as universal as it should be, and 2) because if you are protesting the message, and yet the message is so obviously correct (hence the masturbation implied), the conclusion would seem to be that you are arguing for the converse. Either you believe the message to be wrong (but haven't the guts to say so), or the message is solely self-congratulatory, in case your whining is irrelevant, because the message will do its own damage without your help.
    3) I think this article is self-congratulatory, but perhaps in a different way than intended by some commenters. You see, if I manage to lobotomize myself in a freak accident involving a chain saw, a plastic bag, six stray cats, and a ten-year-old issue of Hustler, and am simultaneously possessed by either a demon or one of the aliens from Independence Day, I now know that I cannot possibly attain the level of stupidity and misanthropy that some of the commenters such as Neil. I understand that I am comparing myself to the wrong standards, but it's good to know that there is a practical limit to my less admirable capacities.

  • Neal says:

    "I'm seriously pissed that my friends and loved ones suffer just because some men believe not just that it's OK to think with their dicks, but in fact that it's cool to admit to such belief in public. We should do something about it."

    That's how I read DM's post too: Men should never have any penis-thoughts, and they should certainly never "admit to such beliefs in public." Instead, all men should all act like DrugMonkey and write nauseating, sanctimonious paeans about the evils of racy blog comments and the physical violence that such comments warrant. If only all men were violent, sexually-repressed hypocrites, like DrugMonkey or the Saudi Arabians, then no woman would ever have to "suffer" exposure to an expressed male libido.
    People on this blog love to mock the creationists and religious fanatics, but you are no better. You're both afraid of reality. You both want to live in a Candyland world where nobody says anything that makes you uncomfortable.

  • Lady In Lab says:

    You both want to live in a Candyland world where nobody says anything that makes you uncomfortable.

    On the contrary, CPP and Drugmonkey make women like me comfortable enough to want to participate in the conversation.
    Beautiful post DM! I hope it's circulated widely. Thank you.

  • John says:

    Chemgirl, I had written a long post but decided against it and I'll leave you with this:
    If you honestly think that men go through their lives not being judged by their appearances, I can regale you with several specific stories that would demonstrate the fallacy in your thinking (a few from grad school and one from today).
    If you feel so inclined, let me know.

  • LostMarbles says:

    John,
    It's not so that we're judged on our appearance, so much as that we're judged on how much men would like to fuck us. It's dehumanizing when a lot of the time all you're being judged on is whether a guy would want to stick his penis into you.

  • John says:

    LostMarbles,
    True enough, and in reality a single incident or even a handful that I experienced is still minimal relative to what a lot (some/most/all?) women have to overcome. I'm sure, even, that part of the reason I was able to handle such incidents was the fact that I assumed them to be outliers and not the norm.
    That said, when I am told, among other things, that I'm too fat to get a post-doc, it isn't exactly a warm fuzzy. And also, thankfully, incorrect.

  • DSKS says:

    I don't believe anyone is denying our natural and more primitive instincts. It's just that it is generally accepted as being neither pertinent nor desirable to express them openly in writing unless they are directly related to the subject under discussion.
    In response to a science-related post on science-related blog, "Phwoar, she's a bit of alright" is in the same division of provincially flavoured non sequiturs as "Jings, this post has elicited in me a profound desire to shit!".
    The correlation between issues of scientific import and one's bodily functions may well be explainable, it may in some cases even be justified, but I think most would agree that a) it need not be expounded on in a public forum, and b) that doing so will unlikely lead to any astounding revelations inre: the actual issues under discussion.

  • drdrA says:

    Your thoughts in this post are just a few of the many reasons why- DM my friend, I quite adore you.
    Thank you.

  • kiwi says:

    Thanks DM.
    Have to say I'd love to see a breakdown of the view presented here by gender (feel comfortable about the post/ find it nauseating). Seems to me its the guys fighting tooth and nail . . .

  • Dave X says:

    Years ago I was on a trip with several guy relatives and my teenaged cousin, who, on explaining her preference for running in the early AM, started an eye-opening conversation with us.
    "If you have a wife or a sister or a female friend or colleague that you respect in your life...." and "you possibly think it is understandable, okay or remotely defensible to talk about physical attractiveness..." in almost any context, please talk about it with them and listen.

  • octopod says:

    DSKS@46, EXACTLY. Thanks for saying what I wanted to say.

  • I'd way rather have someone focus on my physical appearance than insult my intelligence with the sort of cloying crap DM was oozing.

    I imagine Dave can speak in hypotheticals because he's never actually had to serious consider the choice.
    And when you're a woman, there really isn't a choice.

  • becca says:

    Thank you DM.
    Seems to me its the guys fighting tooth and nail . . ."
    It's not the women DM made look bad
    😉
    "In response to a science-related post on science-related blog, "Phwoar, she's a bit of alright" is in the same division of provincially flavoured non sequiturs as "Jings, this post has elicited in me a profound desire to shit!". "
    You win teh internets.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    Seems to me its the guys fighting tooth and nail.

    That seems like a strange thing to say about DM considering how this round started.

  • Bill says:

    I don't believe anyone is denying our natural and more primitive instincts.

    DSKS, Several readers explicitly said that men should never mention their sexual attraction in public.

    In response to a science-related post on science-related blog, "Phwoar, she's a bit of alright" is in the same division of provincially flavoured non sequiturs as "Jings, this post has elicited in me a profound desire to shit!".

    Nobody is saying that comments about Sheril's body are constructive. The question is how should one respond.
    Should you:
    a) Get all High & Mighty, vilify sexual impulses, and threaten to punch people in the nose?
    b) request that people masturbate elsewhere.
    Clearly the appropriate response is: Masturbate Elsewhere.
    Here, I will try to give a good example of its usage.
    "DrugMonkey, could you not use your blog to promulgate this egregiously masturbatory pandering? "I am father! fwap-fwap-fwap I am brother! fwap-fwap-fwap" We would like this forum to be about Science, not fishing for compliments from one's politically correct peers."
    See how easy that way?

  • A female postdoc says:

    Bill, you are still missing the POINT. The immediate reaction to Sheril's blog moving to Discover was not truly welcoming nor appropriate. To sit back and allow sexist/male chauvinistic internet hooting and hollering is NOT ACCEPTABLE, especially since the blog is about science issues. Hiding behind internet anonymity doesn't mean this shit is acceptable on any *intelligent* forum.
    The fact DM and PP called attention to this problem (of repeated catcalling and no follow-up response by the blog host) is totally warranted. Then, DM specifically pledged to uphold what he believes is right. This is completely related to science, and society in general. Instead of joining his pledge and agreeing with him, you choose to blame him for being self-aggrandizing. Is it so bad to AGREE with someone on a non-controversial stance? Why don't you get off your high horse and fight the good fight.

  • Bill says:

    Hey Female Postdoc,
    You don't define the debate simply by typing the word POINT in all caps. Now let's take a look at all this "sexist/male chauvinistic internet hooting and hollering" we've been 'pledging' ourselves against.
    Below are the exact quotes that DrugMonkey links to and condemns in his article:
    "I’ll be the first to say that Sheril is quite fetching."
    "as a living breathing male of the species, I look forward to any article with Sherils picture attached"
    Oh heavens me! The virulent hooting! The sexist hollering!
    Those are the best examples of the "sexist/male chauvinistic internet hooting and hollering" that you guys could come up with and they are literally some of the most anodyne, neutered, dorky comments I have ever encountered. Pathetic.

  • Female Postdoc again says:

    Bill, stop trying to detract. Just join our side, seriously. It doesn't matter if you have to put aside your pride. It'll make you a better person and you can feel good about yourself. You have to admit taking the other side is a losing battle.

  • literally some of the most anodyne, neutered, dorky comments I have ever encountered.
    Which is totally weird, because the pick-up lines and compliments I get from most scientist-types are usually pretty smooth.
    It's not the type of line, it's the intrusion of the personal evaluation into a space that's supposed to be about professional evaluation. We live with this all the time. That doesn't make it any more pleasant.

  • jc says:

    Bill, are you ranking the virulence? Like "fetching" gets a 1 of 10, while "yo bitch suck my cock" would get a 10 of 10 on the Bill scale? Thank fucking god someone put some rankings on this shit. As a woman, I'm never quite sure if I'm just being too sensitive. We need HARD numbers.

  • Gingerale says:

    DrugMonkey: Yes.

  • Dunc says:

    I don't understand why this is so difficult to understand...
    Suppose you're at a party, and one of your friends introduces you to a woman you find attractive, saying "Hey, have you met my friend Sheril? She's a marine biologist."
    Does anybody really think it would be appropriate in that situation to reply with the words "Woah! You're hot!"? If your answer is "yes", you really have some kind of social problem which you should probably try and get some help with. You've just been introduced, ferchristsake.
    God knows I'm not exactly socially gifted, but I'm not completely stupid.

  • Drug, I find this a potent and beautifully-written post. In contrast with some other commenters, I do not find your views at all boastful or begging of acknowledgment for what you are. Rather, I view the text above the horizontal rule as a declaration and food for thought for all men about the women in their lives. The section under the hr speaks to a situation and the interpretation of your declaration in the context of this episode.
    Exceptionally well-done. Thank you for doing this.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Thanks Abel. Look, I understand that it is all fun to take the mickey out of me for being a pompous windbag and a preachy sanctimonious weebag. All good.
    The sustained bleating and the feedback to the original situation with respect to the appropriateness of certain comments in professional environments though...whew. Let's just say I continue to learn things around here.
    DSKS- FTW, my friend. Totes WIN!
    Dunc@#61...yeah. sigh.

  • Lamar says:

    DM-I don't think anyone has considered those original comments anything but inappropriate. The concern is that an overzealous response to them (particularly with regards to physical threats) creates friendly-fire that smacks of "a woman in need of rescuing". I know my wife for one is turned off by this label, and she has been my personal gate to feminism. In other words, if it were my wife in this case, she would want to do the punching.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    Lamar, well I think we differ in our reading. There are certainly individual commenters (here and elsewhere) taking the "it's no big deal" and "hey guys are going to think that" and "whyd she put the picture up anywaiz?" tone. So not everybody gets it, in my view.
    Sheril, is clearly quite capable of doing her own punching. And she unleashed a couple of roundhouses in this particular episode. Similarly capable and competent are Zuska, Juniper, Isis, doubledoc, Janet, Maria, SciWo, etc, etc and similar colleagues everywhere. and yet they still seem to appreciate a little support from their friends (male and female) now and again.
    the lesson for you to learn here is not to let your fear of coming across as a patriarchal windbag paralyze you from doing the decent human thing when some idiot sounds off in front of you. do you have the same response when someone says "nigger" or "fag" in front of you? just lay back and say nothing so the poor lil brown ones and gay ones don't take it as patronizing? really?
    if you've been actually reading along you'd see that I specifically call what I term a typical male response unproductive. and you will recognize that in my blogging I spend a fair amount of time on the productive things we men can do to help. Yes, including introspection about our women friends and colleagues and family members to drive home the point with certain folks. so excuse me if I find some of this focus on my alleged motivations for getting 'web-laid' (hur, hur) a bit disingenuous.

  • Hap says:

    I think if your writing were simply self-congratulation for your stance, there would be little need for the vehement response - annoying people generally take care of themselves if you just let them. So I assume that something else (in a number of cases, the wish or belief that the behavior of the original comments was/were acceptable) is motivating a lot the "self-aggrandizement" or "self-congratulation" complaints. In both cases, of course, it implies that whatever state of affairs you are trying to achieve is correct, which would imply that the state of affairs others are arguing for is...not. I'm not sure what kind of world they would prefer instead of the one you propose, or perhaps how they would feel if their friends were on the receiving end of the comments they seem to support. I don't know if I want to know that.

  • Kate says:

    I find it interesting that, at least from what I can tell from names and pseudonyms, most of the folks who have a problem with this post are men. Most who appreciate this post are women.
    Women, people of color, and people from other underrepresented groups need more allies. In this post, DrugMonkey explicitly sets himself up as an ally to women. Rather than criticize the nature of the post and debate whether he is a "good enough" ally, I welcome his alliance and appreciate every single attempt to support women.
    Folks from underrepresented groups get stuck educating oppressor groups, and at the same time they get chastised for providing that education. So it's very important when a person from that oppressor group makes a concerted effort to say, "Hey, I notice this oppression, and I call out those agents of oppression for their asshattery." Because really, we're tired of doing it all the time, and when we do it we get made fun of anyway (or told we're not doing it explicitly enough, or with enough examples or we're not grateful for what we have......).
    So again, thank you.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    At least disingenuous, DM, given that I recall a post where you went to some length to talk about your own boundaries regarding the kinds of praise you were willing to accept. Then again, people who get defensive about you asking them to respect other people's boundaries are probably not going to have much respect for yours either.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    given that I recall a post where you went to some length to talk about your own boundaries regarding the kinds of praise you were willing to accept
    are you talking about the fact that it skeeves me out to get cookies/praise for just saying we should strive to be decent human beings? yeah, that's still operable but it seems a bit of assery to constantly point that out. Especially when what people are probably really saying is that "gee, this is admirable behavior in anyone and you, DM, just happen to serve as a convenient example".

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Nope, I was talking about you preferring that praise come in less...personal...forms than "kisses" and marriage proposals and the like, because those overstep your personal boundaries. Which is a perfectly reasonable request. No, um, assery intended.

  • bill says:

    Just popping in to remind everyone that Bill (capital B, no link) is not me. I always link and hardly ever capitalize. We now return you to your regularly scheduled Drugmonkey.

  • Dr. Feelgood says:

    You know what I got from this post???
    DM luvs the ladies!!!!!!
    Doc F

  • Arikia says:

    Just reading this now. Loves it.

Leave a Reply