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Shakesville under attack

DCblogger's picture

This Is What Has Been Happening

I just want to throw some solidarity link love to a good and useful site. Shakesville is a safe blog, that is no hurtful rhetoric is tolerated. Some might derisively call that politically correct. I call it scrupulously thoughtful. It seems some people feel threatened by all that courtesy and are lashing out. CorrenteWire came in for a little of that back in 2008, but nothing on the scale that Shakesville is experiencing.

Shakesville is one of the most popular blogs in lefty blogosphere. Long may it reign.

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okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

100,000% love for Shakesville and the entire team there!

Correntewire came in for "just a little bit?" I suppose, but after reading her piece it felt like deja vu all over again. Vastleft and Lambert took the personal brunt I think. But many of us were stalked for years. YEARS. And it is the exact same shit, same tropes, same invective, same goal (SILENCE), same, same, same. Probably some of the same people. Losers. Fear-filled losers with too much time on their hands and nothing constructive to add to society, that is why they spend their time stalking their superiors.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

While I think that the commenters on the hate site are nasty, Melissa needs to grow a thicker skin. I used to have one or two hate sites devoted to taking me down. But there are always going to be critics. That's just the nature of blogging. They said bad things about me, so what. The blogosphere is a big place. It's so enormously big you can't even begin to understand. The only way people are going to find your critics' sites is if you point them out to the whole world. In fact, Melissa is going about this the wrong way. She should never even mention them. Let them say whatever they want. If they show up with links on her site, she needs to delete the comments on her own site.
Eventually, the nasties will get the hint and go away.
I don't approve of bloggers, especially female bloggers, whining about mistreatment on the internet. The internet is a great equalizer. Melissa is more than capable of dealing with this without any damage to her feelings. She just needs to exercise confidence and control. In fact, if she DOES continue to whine, in spite of her presence on so many blog rolls, I just might write something critical myself. It's time to grow a fucking spine and stop making women bloggers looks weak and silly.
BTW, I do think she's a little dogmatic and annoying and I never go to her site anymore. So, you know, maybe she might want to rethink that.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

By the time you are stalked in real life and the haters go after your friend's livelihoods, it is time to speak out. I don't call it whining, I call it crying justice. The world has to know that female bloggers are signled out for abuse. And what do people object to? The fact that she runs a safe blog, and posts trigger warnings when she posts about especially upsetting subjects. It is for her audience. It is ludicriously easy to ignore her blog, so people who take offense are trying to silence her, so there won't be a safe online community for people who enjoy it.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Tells you all you need to know about the people obsessive enough to run it.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Again, I had several web sites going after me in 2008. We had tons of vicious, dangerous looking, horrible comments in the spam filter as well. I was called racist relentlessly during the campaign. That really burned my oatmeal. I don't have a racist bone in my body. You'd have to know me personally to know that for sure though so my reputation is easily smearable by people who have their own agenda. In retrospect, it's only when you are making an impact that they really go after your ass.
But no, it doesn't matter if women are singled out on the web. So what?? At the end of the day, all of those insults are only pixels on a display. THEY CAN NOT HURT YOU.
I guarantee that the idiots are not going to take the time to hunt you down and do all of the things they threaten to do.
As for silencing her, what can a commenter or critic do to silence her? Can they take away her wifi access? Handcuff her so she can't type?
Would you please be realistic?? It's the fricking internet. They can't possibly shut her up. The worst that can be done is for her "friends" and "allies" to delete her from their blogrolls. That is what is going to either shut her up or change her tune. So, maybe that's what this is all about. She's said something that has set her apart from the tribe. Maybe she's said something truthful and uncomfortable. But come on, this is Melissa we're talking about. She's all about being the most faithfully politically correct blogger on the left. It's nauseating really. That's why I don't frequent her blog anymore. I'd rather do my own thinking.
Like I said, she's not doing herself any favors by responding to her critics and you're not doing her any favors by allowing her to play the victim. Women will never be taken seriously if they don't just step up and punch their critics in the virtual face. And the best place to start is to not give them any free blog space to vent their nastiness. Melissa needs to grow up and grow some ovaries. She's making the rest of us look bad.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

And her husband's LinkedIn page. I'm sorry, that's all pretty fucked up. So what are you saying, Goldberry? She and the people who moderate and post at her blog were "asking for it"? Maybe if she wasn't so bitchy?

I didn't see you turning down support against the PUMA haters.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

No, I'm saying that if you give people real estate on your blog by highlighting what they are doing, it's the same thing as pouring gas on a fire. You only encourage them. They're fucking bullies and cowards. Why let them ruin your life?
You can fix a LinkedIn page, you can delete comments, you can ignore them until they end up talking to themselves in the Oort Belt. You do not need to give them the opportunity to crap on your rug in your own house.
I guarantee, now that they have Melissa's attention, it's only going to get worse. She should never have encouraged them. I have plenty of haters out there. I take them off my blogroll, never link to them, never read their sites to see what they're saying about me and never complain.
She should do likewise.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Who made you chief of it?

So because she/they isn't/aren't reacting to it in precisely the way you (say) you have done (my recollection differs), therefore Shakesville is undeserving of support from people at this blog who know what it is like to go through that shit? Oh, and she should maybe get a clue from her tormentors in how to run her site in a less alienating way? "She might want to rethink that" my ass.

Jesus Christ, victim blame or survivor guilt much?

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

You said it best. She is acting like a victim. I, as a female blogger, do not identify myself as a victim in the blogosphere.
She can do whatever she damn well wants. She doesn't have to take my advice. But bullying is bullying and there are time honored ways of dealing with bullies. She has the advantage and the upper hand in this fight so if she's a "victim", it's victimhood of her own choosing and I don't want her speaking for me.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

You rightly complain about being targeted for abuse in 2008 (still), but when Shakesville (not just Melissa, but everyone there) does the same thing, they are wrong. Primarily because you don't like her tone.

What utter, myopic, bullshit.

Unfortunately, there is an infinite number of abusive assholes on the internet, pretending that they don't exist is what they count on. That is the actual oxygen they breath.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

On the contrary, I don't complain about trolls, bullies and hate sites. Oh, they were definitely out there and they take down every word you write, hoarding it for some future date to throw it in your face in some twisted way. I do not recognize these sites. You probably aren't even aware of which ones I'm talking about. They don't get free advertisement on my site. These are the kinds of sites that Melissa is dealing with now.
No, I see myself as more of a loyal opposition, gadfly type. My job as I see it is to keep the pressure on the left so that they stop falling into the traps that got them into trouble in 2008. I don't go around threatening their livelihood or trolling their comment section and I didn't come into being simply to make their lives miserable. In fact, I have good reason to believe that my target audience reads what I write and is at least contemplating it, even if I am still persona non grata. And if that's all the impact I can make right now, I'll take it. I have no complaints and I'm not a victim. Well, I might be a victim of some short sighted MBAs and ruthless manager types from when I was working in big pharma but on the web? Not a victim. My blog is my castle.
I'm simply calling it the way I see it. It's not a complaint. I also don't make money off of my blog. I realized early that if you want to say what you really think, you can't ask people for money. The minute you say something they don't like, they withdraw their financial support.
Again, I don't see Melissa as a victim in this. If this is the only way she makes money, then she needs to do something to get her audience to support her. But recognizing her critics is only going to hurt her.
And now I'm done. You may continue to fume at the reality behind what I have written or not. Not my problem. But you're not helping Melissa by indulging her.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Lol worthy.

Really, may I "continue to fume at the reality", may I really? By your leave? Do I have your permission? Is what I'm doing "helping Melissa by "indulging" her.", like a spoiled child, again?

There's a reason I and many others don't visit your blog, either, we just have to suffer condescending comments like these occasionally.

It's all good. Except when it sucks.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

This is a pretty amazing reaction, goldberry.

Shakesville (it's not just Melissa, since they're going after everyone connected to her) should ignore the bullies because ... that's worked in the past to shut bullies down?

Hello?

Seems to me everybody (who matters) is waking up to the fact that victims toughing it out is just playing the bullies' game. You're supposed to not bother anyone and to take it.

And, no, it is Not Okay for women to be subject to 2500% more abuse than men on the internet and for that abuse to be a lot more vicious and humiliating. It's hate speech aimed at shutting down a whole gender.

If you're so tough that it doesn't matter to you, well, good. I admire that. And your general toughmindedness is one of the reasons I read your blog. But don't combine it with the arrogance of telling someone else to put up with criminal behavior. Nobody has to do that.

Also, it's awfully easygoing to tell other people not to worry about threats against them. You can not worry about threats against you. You really have no business telling someone else not to care. Melissa has had trashdumped at her actual physical house, so somebody does know where she lives, and has bothered to go there in actual 3D space. You don't actually know what her bullies are capable of. Or are you so sure that you'd be willing to sign an obligation to pay for any eventual damages?

Submitted by lambert on

In this episode? That's what cops and lawyers and preliminary injunctions are for. Yikes!

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

One final thought. If she is using her blog to make money, she has two choices. She can try to flatter her audience, in which case, she will be rewarded with money. This may require that she changes her tune if she is saying things that offend her audience.
Or, she can decide to say whatever she wants and take a risk that there will still be people out there who will pay for her to say what she wants.
It sounds to me like her livelihood is threatened. I am just pointing out the obvious solution to this problem.
However, I won't be reading her in any case. Shakesville is not really my cup of tea.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Let me also be more clear. Saying getting my head stomped on "didn't hurt a bit", doesn't make me less a victim of assault. Saying I didn't really like that car stereo that was stolen doesn't make less a victim of theft. Saying it isn't too taxing to spend hours clearing up my professional Linkedin account, or purging violent, harrassing comments or emails by internet stalkers, DOESN'T MAKE ME LESS A VICTIM OF THEIR ABUSE.

My opinion.

I edited this comment to use myself as an exple rather than the convention of " you" or "one", to make the " tone" seemingly less "bullying".

Submitted by Dromaius on

I find it ironic that you use a bullying tone toward Goldberry. I thought bullying was the problem??? Apparently, you feel that using a bullying tone is the best way to get your point across? Maybe that's how the Shakesville bullies feel too?

People who voice strong opinions on the internet are sticking their necks out more than the average citizen. It is the equivalent of leaving your house unlocked and flashing a sign at your window saying, "I left my door unlocked and I'm gone from 8-5, but don't burglarize me!". Sorry but you're going to get burglarized.

It's true. People should be able to leave their doors unlocked without being burglarized, and they should be able to say anything they want without "haters" on the public forum of the internet. But the reality is you have to do your due diligence to protect yourself or you will get victimized. On the internet you have to grow a thick skin against "haters" or else you have to have a less visible presence.

And Riverdaughter voiced how she dealt with significant hate. Significant. Hate. And it worked. What Melissa is doing will never work, will only fan the flames. Bullies love it when they get to you. If perpetrators are really committing crimes as you've described that are analogous to stomping heads and stealing stereos, the police should get involved. Otherwise, Melissa should learn how to block them. Moderation queues do it. You have to join Linked-In to post, so report people to Linked-In if they're posting hateful junk there, etc.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

We could simply say that harassment and bullying and the kind of abuse suffered by the Confluence and Shakesville are wrong, that they are crimes. We could say that we renounce it and the people doing it even if they may (or may not) have had a legitimate gripe at some point. We could say that we allow people who are victimized by it to respond and deal with it in the manner of their choosing regardless of whether we think it is effective or counterproductive because we aren't in their shoes.

Submitted by lambert on

The site is unpleasant to read; the gleefulness and stridency is so disproportionate. It sure is weird people can spend that much time on hate, but we've all experienced it (though Goldberry got hit with at least an order of magnitude more than Vast Left and I did (I think we were the two main targets, though there may have been others of us)). So I've always sort of looked back in amazement that Goldberry could stand it and keep her balance.

I have to say that I do think the best strategy is to ignore because otherwise the hate gets in your head and becomes corrosive, as it is designed to do. And short of legal action, there is little to be prevent it, until it translates to RL stuff like stalking. Melissa's ethical situation may be slightly different from mine in that moderation seems to a bone of contention, and she feels a sense of responsibility for the other moderators; at Corrente, I am the moderator, so that question doesn't arise. Melissa's situation may be more different from mine because she's a woman, and there have been some fearsome online campaigns against women by dudebros and assholes generally. (But I think the hate site is feminist or purports to be?)

I remember, years ago now, so the details are gone from my mind now, that one of the sites that was giving us trouble themselves got in trouble, and that one of their own posters was in danger of being outed and even got stalked to their home. I felt that was wrong, because it was wrong, and posted in their defense. They noticed, and they seemed to moderate their views. I didn't want to become allies with them, or even friend, but nobody should be outed or stalked, regardless. Not to wake sleeping canines....

Maybe that was just a lucky break, and it might not work for everybody, but something like that could happen with the Shakes-hating site. Sometimes a Fabian strategy is the most resilient.

sanskavit's picture
Submitted by sanskavit on

I'm really shocked at this site's total lack of concern for other people's lived experiences in regards to abusive spaces. Shakesville is not a safe space. I really dare you to read these experiences and tell me that these people are jist crazed haters:

http://shakesvillekoolaid.tumblr.com/post/88568874129/submission-circle-...

Now, granted: I think the site goes way too far and delves into way too much about MM's life. But as someone who has been around the blogs since 2004 and is a long time queer rights blogger, I understand harassment. But I'm also a rape survivor and I went to Shakesville because it was a safe place. I figured that if I commented in good faith it would be recognized as such, and I felt a deep gratitude to Melissa McEwan for creating a space I felt I could read and comment in and feel amongst like minded people. But the few times I commented (once to politely say I didn't agree with Space Cowboy's way of handling Sarah Palin posts) I was piled on, generally told I didn't understand feminism and that one more comment more on it and I was banned. Her whole safe space thing and my experience with it sent me into a PTSD episode and I was up for a whole night riddled with anxiety over losing a space I needed to feel ok because I had put in polite disagreement and been met with extreme rebuttal.

The time I got banned was from her asking commenters what she thought about gay marriage. I said that I didn't support it and viewed other alternatives as better options. I was quickly banned and told by a STRAIGHT moderator that they don't accept homophobia on their page. Um, but I'm a radical actually queer person who has a long history of fighting for gender neutral civil contracts between multiple people and other more progressive ideas. That nearly sent me into depression.

The point is that a lot of people come to that space to feel safe and are more than vulnerable. They are not met with the kindness that this kind of space promises to make. Many of those people on that 'hate site' are overly concerned with banal things. But many of them are deeply afflicted people who were quite hurt emotionally by that site's abusive tendencies. Blindly dismissing these people is really digusting on Corrente's part: a site I've also read since 2007 and admired its humanity.

Shakesville is not a popular site anymore. Until recently, the comments were dwindling down to nothing. And that's because so many people walk away from there hurt. And it's not just a normal site where you go to and if you're banned you leave. People go their for the healing properties of community and are not met with it. I'm so saddened by Corrente's inability or unwanting to try and understand this.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I really don't go to Shakesville much either, but rather than creating the safe place that Shakesville didn't prove to be for you or others, the people involved in the harassment have created an even worse place that is all about targeting, harassing, and nurturing harassment that certainly appears from my reading to be extremely vile, personal, and completely out of line. Shakesville didn't serve up what you were hoping to find, while that is disappointing, it is hardly grounds to create an entire subculture who's only purpose is to target a single blog and people in their real lives.

How is that better? Even assuming Shakesville is "doing it Rong", now two wrongs make a right? Are they even equivalent? Is Melissa McEwan going after these peoples friends, family, personal lives, stalking them at their homes? So we don't get to say that is wrong, because maybe her commenting policies are a little cliquey or extreme?

Why not use all that formidable energy in a positive manner, create the home they were hoping to see, and LEAVE SHAKESVILLE ALONE, where it will slowly dwindle down to nothing, if it is as evil as you say.

sanskavit's picture
Submitted by sanskavit on

So let me get this straight, you don't go there at all really and don't know much about it; but you've responded with downright near vitriol and anger at people who questioned its place as a good blog? Ok, then. So, you weren't there for the creepy 'All In' post or the wya over the past 5 years, but especially the last 3, that Melissa and her mods have systematically harassed and bullied commenters, asked them to read a 70,000 word ever changing comment policy (which is super ableist and with some learning disorders, impossible) and then harassing them for it and banning them at the drop of a hat. Its no secret to people involved in the Shakesville community why comments went from in the hundreds to 3-8 a post in the last few months. People are scared to be there.I know I was, but I felt like a bad feminist--despite having 6 years of graduate school in queer/feminist studies under my belt.

And that's because Melissa gains her authority by having Shakesville be the ultimate safe space. And so she attracts a ton of really vulnerable people. For a long time that was THE blog to go to if you were a rape and trauma victim. And people who weren't treated in anything but an abusive way and who had no ability to comprehend a world that was touted as safe by someone they respected ended up really fucked up in the head after.

So they created those spaces or 'hater sites' as you all so appallingly put it, to decamp their brains from it all. You've obviously never been a trauma victim, but some of those people, reeling from Shakesville, were really screwed up after. Riddled with anxiety and feeling like they had no place to go, like they were the ones in the wrong...some of them were suicidal or depressed. And yes, online spaces can do this to people. I think these 'hater sites' have some purpose in helping people recognize they aren't alone in this.

why must they create an alternative instead of just helping people feel normal again? And all you're obviously going by is Melissa's word, but people have documented and screencapped multiple lies by her and she clearly tries to reinvigorate her community through these 'attacks' while never admitting that if you look at any of the screencaps of her abusive comments that she was an aggressor. I don't believe people are harassing her in real life. She offers no proof of this. And if you actually follow the origin of this set of posts, it actually comes from an article being done on her site by a journalist about 'toxic online spaces' two weeks ago. After she posted it she disappeared and started to blame the hater sites instead.

I do think the anti-shakes sites have some bad threads in them for sure. I don't like them attacking her income or making assumptions about her husband, or anything like that. It's not right. But Corrente's kneejerk 'make MM a saint' response is really disgusting. Especially since, by all measures, NONE of the commenters have tried to understand the emotional stories of these people (which are clearly spelled out), and you know what: Corrente was pretty much the ultimate hater site in 2008-2009.

I expect this kind of reasoning from DCBlogger who is the main reason I don't read this site much anymore---when it used to be at the top of my list. Their posts are just not very well researched often and make real inflammatory comments. Whatever, it's Lambert's and they can post. But the rest of you I respected pretty well as commenters and none of you seem to give a care about these other people who have real valid emotional stakes here.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Well put. There is nothing wrong with those who were treated to an unsafe space at Shakesville sharing their experiences, and there is no requirement to create a safer space before doing so.

Submitted by lambert on

It's just a little habit of mine. Perhaps it's just me knocking off style points; If I want to restate an interlocutor's argument tendentiously, I prefer to up the ante more subtly.

Adding, I've already had backwash once this year from a war that started at another blog, got carried on over here, and damaged the site. I don't want that to happen again, and I'll moderate for it.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

Hey Lambert -
While i think the above post is a tad long-winded I would suggest you take a longer look.
Much is on target. The irony is Melissa has been harmful to her readers for awhile now, whilst pretending to be a Safe Place.
It's been awhile for me to go near any of it, but Shakesfail.tumblr has documented much of the very harmful treatment of posters that's been going on for awhile now under Melissa's watch.

It's really a shame, and I would not write off the above post quite so quickly.

Thanks!

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

meh Sorry, i mean what Lambert said below.

Otherwise, apparently two wrongs do make a right in your opinion. My mileage varies, but I'm hardly feeling angry or vitriolic or bullying about it. I'm just not particularly fond of or impressed by people who attack someone's friends and family, physical appearance, weight, disabilities, people who dump garbage on lawns, send threatening correspondence.

That kind of thing.

But apparently the bitch deserved it, hurt some feelings, etc., so do carry on.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Sorry but really confused here.

Are you saying there is evidence that the people who shared their bullied experiences at Shakesville are the same responsible for the latter infractions and crimes in your first paragraph?

It seems as though you are trying to blend two distinct and disparate groups into one monolithic anti-Shakes mob.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Obviously not every single one. Is that the standard now? Well not everyone there did that? A hate site exists to channel hate, and most everything I read at the main hate site is petty, personal, and is NOT "sharing their bullied experiences". There is a little of that. Just enough to claim legitimacy?

This is reminding me of the "Blac Block defense", where thanks to anonymity, everyone is able to deny any specific act of destruction or violence, because we all have a legitimate gripe against the state, and anyway, " wasn't me and you can't prove it was".

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Never been a fan of "let's punish the whole class because we can't identify the culprit."

I guess I'm reading the majority of comments there differently than you are, and will have to leave it at that.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

If I say "I don't read Shakesville that much", then I don't know what is going on over there and I am not sensitive to people's "lived experiences" of abuse. However if I say Ido go there all the time, I'm drinking the Shakesville koolaid and not sensitive to people's experiences if abuse.

And I and DCBlogger and others "appalling" call them hate sites when even you admit they have bad threads in them devoted to her income and her husband (you don't mention the ones where she is fatty fatty two by four), but hey, so what? Apparently Correntewire was the ultimate hate site in 2008-2009*, so neener neener.

As regarding abuse people feel they have suffered at Shakesville at the hands of McEwan, mods or commenters, actually, I AM sympathetic, obviously some feel poorly treated, some vulnerable people apparently have been made to feel more marginalized by their experience there. Even if some have experienced that, it still is no reason not to denounce harassment, abuse, terrorizing, or targeting someone.

Or is it?

* And when ever did Correntewire do THAT?

Submitted by Dromaius on

I thought I'd mention, DailyKOS has spawned legions of anti-KOS hate sites, and MarKos gets swarms of hate mail. The reaction to those is that they are ignored, or better yet, laughed at. KOS frequently posts the hate mail of the week, so people can chuckle.

No doubt many of the other "A-list" blogs have this problem as well. It's not overwhelmingly a women's problem.

Personally, I'd be flattered if I made such an impact that I actually spawned "hater" sites. I wouldn't read them, wouldn't direct anyone to them, but I'd be smug.

I'm no fan of KOS, but I think his strategy is good. However, one thing about the outrage at Shakesville is that it likely helps fundraising. Maybe KOS should try it.

Truly, truly, getting mad and stomping your feet is what the dick-heads want. Don't let them have that.

Submitted by lambert on

Again, the investment of time in a hate site is substantial, and I just don't see why people would do that. I do understand, as a moderator, that people can experience a great sense of injury and injustice when they're put in moderation, or banned, or whatever; I've certainly been had all that happen to me, and I know how it feels.

That said, when Kos purged the Hillary supporters, Riverdaughter went out and created her own site, with its own identity and its own topics, instead of a site that was a hateful reflection of Kos. When Kos (and FDL, and Open Left) banned me, I always had Corrente to go back to; a secure base to strike out from, again with its own identity and its own topics. If the people at the MM hate site want to invest their time in MM takedowns, that's certainly their privilege (rather like "my vote is my own") but in my experience it would be much better to take the pain and do something with it, rather than keep chewing the wound. (Of course, one might say that "purging MM from whatever" is "doing something with it," but whatever. One of the reasons I don't do, in my own small way, strategic hate management any more is that I felt it was bad for me, personally. It was corrosive. It brought a certain malign glee, and it was fun in its own way, but it didn't bring happiness or joy. Nor was it effective. I brought the hate with Bush for years, he got re-elected, and then we got Obama. So.)

As far as MM's time, her time is her own too. From my experience, the commenters here who suggest that giving them more attention on the MM blog is bad idea is correct; it will just feed on itself. MM decided differently, however, and she has more facts than I do.

Now, the RL harrassment is completely different from an online hate site. You do have the option of simply not reading a hate site, but you don't have the option (unless you're a far worse house- or groundskeeper even than me) of ignoring garbage on your lawn. I'm sure we have legal structures for that, and MM (IMNSHO) should use them.

NOTE I don't know why fundraising is an issue. Blogging is incredibly time consuming and stressful. There seems to be a notion on the left that people ought to create content and even organize for free as a test of the purity of their hearts, or something. The right doesn't think that way at all, and that's one reason for their success. And we want to learn from success, right? As opposed to continuing to fail?

Submitted by Dromaius on

If you go out and read the anti-Shake "hate sites?" Many of them have the flavor of the sites that crop up when people are either banished or leave a cult. See Mark Driscoll and the Mars Hill Church and all the sites that crop up from the banishees. The anti-Shakesville sites are really very similar. People may be creating them to help "survivors" of the site. People really do go to Melissa's site thinking it's a "safe site". And they come away burned. Several people have posted here about that. The mods are heavy handed, and thus the site really isn't for people who are vulnerable. And the sad thing is they attempt to attract vulnerable people. It's wrong to do that if you aren't really going to be "safe".

And fundraising appears to be a huge charter of that site to the point that it gets heavy handed too. Go read about that as well. One incident suggesting that a public assistance recipient on their last $5 should donate because "no donation is too small!" was a particular case in point.

I see no problem with fundraising. It's only when people blatantly take advantage of the most vulnerable to get money that I have issues. I don't donate to blogs, sorry to say. I am part-time employed and simply don't have spare cash for it. I'm thankful to those who do.

There are some true Melissa hate *pages*, I will grant you that, but I've found no live, ongoing web sites to that end. The live content is more critical than hating. And as I've said, they really sort of represent "safe" sites for "survivors" of Melissa's site. Basically their charter is to let vulnerable people know that the problem was NOT them.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

Completely agree.
As I said the irony is that Melissa herself has been extraordinarily cruel and harmful to vulnerable people while touting her site as a Safe harbor.

The latest kerfuffle appears to have sprung up due to a reporter's wanting to write about abuse on blogs and MMs name came up as perhaps an example..... Ironic indeed. Shakesfail has details but in my experience Melissa's reaction is quite unsurprising.

In any case I've avoided the place for some time now, and I think the declining interest/nbr of comments would show that I'm representative....

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

According to smashingstars, posting at Pharyngula:

I was a regular on Shakesville back when it was Shakespeare’s Sister, left for several years, and went back in 2011 when I really felt I needed a safe, feminist space. What I found was that SV had changed into an echo chamber. At no point did I feel welcome over there. Once, I asked for help when I was in a really bad situation, and not a single reply from anyone, even though Melissa brags about how much she and her regulars will help out.

Rarely did a regular even speak to me; I was literally ignored. I kept following the rules, trying to be as polite as possible, but nothing. Several times I posted something in news threads that got used in Melissa’s posts, with never a thanks, even if others got thanked. Once, she credited someone else, just so she didn’t have to credit me. I have no idea why. I know you guys are thinking that it’s because I did something wrong, but I did not.

I had some examples of this to post (I was happy to “out” myself) but I cannot find a single one of those particular comments still on SV. I never flamed, was never scolded, didn’t get banned, but I did occasionally say I didn’t think certain claims were true, or that I thought ganging up on people wasn’t necessary. Those comments have all quietly disappeared, apparently.

Here’s an example: Ana Mardoll said she was sure Mrs. Obama had nothing but good intentions when on “Biggest Loser,” and someone disagreed. They were piled on by multiple mods. Even though the original post is entirely speculating on intentions, commenters were yelled at if THEY dared speculate: http://www.shakesville.com/2013/10/michelle-obamas-guest-appearance-on.html

I saw people held to a standard the mods did not hold to themselves. Here’s Aphra Behn talking about how ST:TOS was misogynist but “not that bad:” http://www.shakesville.com/2013/05/jj-abrams-doubles-down-on.html

I guarantee you, a commenter says something like that, they are chewed out and banned. Take this for instance, when someone says maybe we should be happy when the clueless (in this case, Patton Oswalt) get a clue. Ana Mardoll and Melissa McEwan eviscerate the person for even having the audacity to say such a thing: http://www.shakesville.com/2013/06/on-patton-oswalts-rape-joke-epiphany....

And what people at DtSKA ask is: why the difference? Why is “sure it was misogynist but not as bad as other examples” okay, but “sure it was misogynist but at least he’s getting a clue” NOT okay?

Now, do I think DtSKA is a good place for serious discussion about SV’s issues? Haha no. I was a regular on DtSKA waaaay early in the beginning, before it really took off, and I thought it was fine. It was a way to blow off steam and commiserate with others who had the same experiences. Soon, though, I saw people regularly posting crap about Melissa herself, looking up Melissa’s husband’s info, diagnosing her with mental illnesses, and slamming fat people because MM is fat. There were at least two examples of people who absolutely did harass Melissa while they were on Shakesville — one guy took to Twitter and called her a “bitch,” something I saw go down in real time — and he was hailed as a conquering hero on DtSKA, where everyone believed his side of the story, even though it was lies. [emphasis added][/emphasis]

I agree with much of what timemachine at #193 said, though I think she overstates — not out of malice but unfamiliarity — the ability to complain about things at DtSKA and be listened to. I complained about all those things above and was completely ignored by DtSKA. In fact, on more than one occasion, I saw the mod of DtSKA encourage the invasions of privacy, the talk about Melissa’s appearance, the insistence that all those laypersons without even the stereotypical excuse of “I minored in Psychology” can make legitimate psychological diagnoses of Melissa McEwan.

It’s ridiculous the things DtSKA does, and I’m forever embarrassed for promoting it early on.

But it’s not a hate site. A hate site is Stormfront, Westboro’s website, that kind of thing. These are just jerks on Tumblr, talking about jerks on Shakesville.

Well, that certainly is a rousing endorsement.

So maybe Shakeville Koolaid is not, strictly speaking, a "hate" site, more of a "bunch of hating anti-fans gathered at a basically rule-free, harrassment and stalking tolerant complain-fest, with little other positive output except to obsessively, relentlessly "document the atrocities" supposedly committed on a blog that offended them some time way back, including whether they are blogging about important or trivial stuff or not" site.

Which, again, bravo. We're happy for ya, but this is getting really boring.

Submitted by lambert on

I have done hate creation myself, and that is the space my head goes into. And it is fun. But I don't want to be around it any more, no matter the original impulse, or good intentions, or whatever.

Submitted by lambert on

... and all I can do is shake (as it were) my head. IIRC, Atrios used to say "Get your own blog!" And that was a very positive injunction. Frankly, I'm wondering is the concept of a "safe place" online (except, perhaps, for the site owner) is even meaningful. The Internet is a hostile computing environment! My advice to any of the SV exiles or deportees -- which is worth nearly nothing -- would be to start a new blog of topics interesting to you, and if the first topic that comes to your mind is somebody else's blog, think twice. To process the feelings, try real world friends. And if you don't have any real world friends, then you are not going to solve that problem by (a) blogging or (b) meta-blogging.

Congrats to PZ Meyers for taking this on.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

The best I can add is the following:
No one deserves to be bullied or threatened, not Melissa, not anyone.

However as a site, Shakes lost me long ago...it's become at best a cult, and at worst a very harmful bullying environment. It's especially sad and ironic that
1) it bills itself as a "safe place" when it's anything but , and
2) Melissa and her mods are themselves often bullying and yes hateful, to the point where the site really jumped the shark ....a "safe" place? Hardly. Now they're a target when they've often targeted vulnerable others.

It's all too bad.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

Stunning to me 1000% support for Melissa and all on her blog given the cruelty so easily dispensed there. It's a harmful place.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Yesterday you were all like:

No one deserves to be bullied or threatened, not Melissa, not anyone.

All I have done is agree.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

And nothing has changed today. No one in this thread is calling for or condoning bullying of Melissa or other Shakesville moderators.

But no, that is not all that you have done. You have implied that to share one's story of being bullied by those that run Shakesville is equivalent to bullying them.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I have seen exactly nobody say that. I am quite capable of being enough asshole to say just about anything at any time, but I never said sharing stories of being bullied is the same as bullying. Not a single person here has said that or implied that.

I don't expect you now to retract that characterization, because apparently nuance is not allowed on this topic.

What I have said:

A) Melissa and her friends and husband obviously feel they are being stalked, harassed, threatened and are under attack. Looking at the evidence, and reading what I have at SKA, I believe her.
B) She has the right to respond (or not) in whatever way she chooses without being judged or belittled.
C) She and others may have hurt people who have come to Shakesville, I take on faith they have.
D) I have seen zero evidence that people at Shakesville have gone beyond the bounds of their own blog, they haven't sought others out across the interwebs, havent engaged in stalking, harassment, or doxxing, they haven't belittled people's appearance, their family, their household cleanliness. All things I have read on SKA.
E) I think it is a pathetic waste of energy to create a blog devoted to hanging on the most insipid, innocuous missives on another site. I just saw a thread there (SKA) all about a throw away Shakes thread on swimming, trying to glean whether the format of it sufficiently allowed commentors enough freedom to comment. I mean, you have got to be fucking kidding me!

But nowhere have I or anyone written the words you have jammed in mouths regarding equating the sharing of stories of bullying, as the same as bullying.

Submitted by lambert on

From beginning to end (though see my comments on "sharing stories" immediately below).

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

If you did not intend to imply that participating in the SVKA site was not the same as participating in the harassment of Melissa then, yes, I retract that part of my statement.

But not the former. No one here has called for bullying her as well.

I wonder if you (and Lambert) realize the reason that SKVA has struck a chord and is getting so many hits (besides Shakesville's linking to it) is because the piling-on and other bullying at Shakesville has been going on...for years. You keep putting sharing their stories of bullying in rabbit ears as if it is false and in need of belittling. To use one of Melissa's quotes I remember: "That's a really shitty thing to do. And very disappearing."

Submitted by lambert on

There are doubtless good faith commenters who do that. The site as a whole does not do that. At some point, the commenters should consider reading the About page, and decide what they want to be doing.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

There are too many double negatives in your first sentence for me to understand what you are saying I am not intending to imply or whatever.

And GOOD FUCKING BLISTERING CTHULU'S TENTACLES!!!!! I have gone to GREAT FUCKING PAINS to not "belittle" people who are actually sharing their stories of bullying. NO! What I have quite clearly done is said ONCE AGAIN, SCREAMING, that I ACCEPT THAT SOME HAVE FELT BULLIED AT SHAKESVILLE. But that, QUITE OBVIOUSLY isn't enough to satisfy the blood thirsty crowd, who are after Shakesville's collective scalp. Oh no. It is not enough. Only full-throated, unqualified acceptance of every. single. bullshit. trope vomited up by whoever the fuck is running SKA is acceptable. Excusing all of the quite obvious shit sandwich they have no problem countenancing. The harassment, the bullying, the doxxing, the stalking. I'm supposed to 1000%, or maybe 100,000% accept that.

Here is a fucking cluestick: I wrote above exactly my feelings on this above. If you don't like it, tough. If you feel like arguing this out more, I suggest you go over to the thread a Pharyngula, because honestly cleanup in aisle stewartlaw

Submitted by lambert on

stewartlaw is a real piece of work. The demolition job slow, but inexorable, and very thorough. Ugh.

Submitted by lambert on

All the more so for being (reasonably) clinical and dispassionate. Like watching a real boxer taking apart an amateur. The only one, AFAIK, who lost their temper came over from SV, or was an SV ally.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Yes, a very good example of a piling-on, bullying thread, in which I see you participated, okanogen. Well done!

Submitted by lambert on

stewartlaw put out arguments, lost them, and refused to engage. And he was dealt with by commenters smarter, better informed, more persistent, and (I would say) more ethical than he was.

Not "brutal" in the sense of a beat down, but brutal in the sense of earth moving machinery inexorably demolishing an obstacle.

If you think that was bullying, then I suggest you rethink. I'm not a believer "can't we all get along" on comment threads.

You might also remember that stewartlaw, the supposely bullied poster, was accusing a moderator at Shakesville of sexual violence. That's about as incendiary and vile an accusation as can be made in RL, never mind the blogosphere, and much of the thread was devoted to refuting the case.

Given the accusation and given the poster's continued shifting, trolling, contined refusal to enage, and repetition of already disproven points, I think he was dealt with remarkably politely. I read the whole thread, started out thinking "He has a point" and then over time saw that he didn't. A functional commentariat is able to handle that kind of interaction. It's not bullying. It is absolutely not.

Basically, if a person doesn't want to have others call bullshit, the most effective procedure by far is not to spread it in the first place. Whining about being called on it comes in second, but far far back.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Yeah no. You are louder. You are screaming in all caps. You win.
Congratulations.

Oh, and you barely visit Shakesville..uh huh.

For the record, the site you are defending posts, what, every other day, cutesy White House photo ops of the droner/eavesdropper-in-chief with the very important caption of "blub forever" and thinks it praiseworthy when democrats play their part as "good cop" in the legacy party kabuki .

Yum!

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

The only thing I am defending is Shakesville's right to not be harassed, threatened, stalked, etc.. Reread my points A through E in this subthread. I have stuck quite slavishly to just exactly those points. Which apparently is just too unbearable for you. You don't understand it, therefore you have to literally make shit up, like that I'm somehow "in the tank" for Shakesville, I'm "part of the cult".

It is sad, laughable, that I actually predicted this upthread. When I was accused (by a SV hater) of not knowing about or understanding the atrocities SKA claimed they were documenting after I had truthfully said that I rarely visit Shakesville, I predicted that if I had instead said I went there all the time, I would be accused of being part of the cult. And now here you are, saying that I must secretly be a part of their cabal.

There is no winning against haters. Haters desperately need to hate. They need everyone else to hate, too. Therefore nothing short of absolute hatred on the part of anyone else is allowable.

Lol though, seriously, if you think that your saying she is some kind of junior Booman is going to change my opinion about whether Melissa McEwan and her husband, and her friends, should be stalked, harassed, bullied, threatened, doxed, and "finished", as SKA so cutely puts it.

And here is the sad thing (for you), because I really do not visit SV very often. It isn't really to my taste or liking. I generally find it dull, a bit claustrophobic, and frankly "just don't get it", though very rarely there is a post I'm directed to which is interesting or thought-provoking. So one would think I would be a potential convert to your SV=evil cause. I certainly had an open mind. But guess what, your hate sites are disgusting! They are low buck. They are filled with much of the shit that are moderated for here. Their claims are unconvincing, easily debunked (see Pharyngula), and petty. They are filled with "me 2" ism. They cutely dance right on the line of acceptable/not-acceptable sometimes over, and take no responsibility for it. Time and again, even supporters have to admit they cross the line.

Therefore, many otherwise impartial people have decided you are all wet.

Sorry to break that to you.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

LOL...missing the many you cite.
But it is o.k.
I'm a Pisces and enjoy the water.

Just as you apparently enjoy the strawman. No one disagreed with you about the harassment. How many words did you waste pretending someone had?

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

I never said sharing stories of being bullied is the same as bullying.

vs.

If you support SKA you support harrassment and abuse

and

100,000% love for Shakesville and the entire team there!

vs.

I really do not visit SV very often. It isn't really to my taste or liking. I generally find it dull, a bit claustrophobic, and frankly "just don't get it".

How about when you decide on a position, and stop arguing with yourself, you get back to me?

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Good grief.

Do I need to take these one at a time? Will you read in good faith if I did?

A)

I never said sharing stories of being bullied is the same as bullying.

vs.

If you support SKA you support harassment and abuse.

In the classic Vastleft formulation of "two things can be true", SKA engages in harassment and abuse (is a harassment and abuse friendly site), AND sharing stories of being bullied (at Shakesville or anywhere) is not the same as bullying. I will add a third thing that can be true (hold on to your hat, this one will blow your mind). Some people at SKA might honestly be sharing their stories of abuse at Shakesville, while at the same time, SKA is a harassment and abuse friendly site! Wow!

Did you see how I did that? It's pretty simple, really. You should try it some time.

Your apparent confusion at this formulation either comes from your lack of understanding that someone can hold both views simultaneously, or it isn't confusion at all and you are not genuinely responding to myself and others.

And next,

B)

100,000% love for Shakesville and the entire team there!

vs.

I really do not visit SV very often. It isn't really to my taste or liking. I generally find it dull, a bit claustrophobic, and frankly "just don't get it".

This is a completely different case, you see, the first sentence is my repeating a mischaracterization someone else said about me, and the second sentence is my refutation of that characterization.

So in essence, you are asking me to stop arguing with someone else, not myself. Or rather, to decide on whose position I'm going to take, my own or theirs?

I think, basically, this first case is the problem at SKA, it's this inability to realize that two things can be true. For example, others can find MM and Shakesville not to their liking and can acknowledge that maybe (actually facts still not in evidence) people have been hurt there, AND (see, AND) we can look at it and judge that SKA is a harassing, stalking, abuse-friendly site at it's core.

Two separate facts. It's amazing.

Once you get to the point where you can believe two non-conflicting things about a topic? Wow. World's your oyster!

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

Regarding a), I see no point in continuing the discussion as it is clear we are never going to see eye-to-eye on allegations of harassment and abuse (well-documented) vs. evidence thereof (not so much).

As fo b) As 100,000% love for Shakesville and the entire team there! (italics mine) is the first comment in this thread, without italics or quotes around it, how in the world was a reader to know you were repeating a mischaracterization someone else said about you?

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Ok, I read again, and you are correct, I said that, and it was in context of supporting them opposed to those harrassing them. I think my views have been consistent. You don't agree, which is fine, you always have SKA to fling ad hominem's at me if you want. They love that shit there.

Submitted by lambert on

To me, that site was doing a heck of a lot that had very little do so with "sharing stories." Granted, I'm not going to read every comment, or even a few; the main posts were quite enough for me (and set the tone of the site anyhow). I'm not even going into it; there's an aura, a sheen, a vibe to the writing that just screams to me "don't go there! Don't go there!"

Been blogging daily since 2003, so I've had my opportunities to see. Another way to put this is that I think anyone who would see that site as "safe" must be quite vulnerable, and so assuming the worst scenarios for both SV and the hate site, we see the vulnerable being passed from one abuser to another, as indeed often happens in RL.

Again, a reason to make something of the pain, and not simply "share" it.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Lol,

Here is something I just copy pasted from SKA:

shakesvillekoolaid Said:

I’m not sure it would be that simple. The fact is the less she behaves in a way that’s abusive, the less content I have. It isn’t immediately clear because of the theme but there are some weeks where I legitimately don’t have much to write about because she isn’t terrible 100% of the time. So it would likely be more of a slow evolution. SVKA does have a symbiotic relationship with Shakesville.

It was in response to this honest and well-intentioned (albeit naive) question from an anonymous commentor:

Would you be willing to negotiate with Melissa? If she relaxes her commenting policy & promises not to pile-on on future commentators for trivial perceived offences. If she is willing to listen to shakers & make Shakesville more of a community than the one woman show it is - would you (everyone, not just the admin) reciprocate by shutting down this tumblr or turning it into another feminist space rather than an anti-shakesville space? By participating at shakesville again? If she apologizes?

So if Melissa came grovelling to this person, did everything every one of these people "sharing their stories" asked, still, it "wouldn't be that simple" because, well, gee, I wouldn't have content....

That is one of the saddest, most pathetic things I have read in a very long time.

However, surely, it is a proud day for Shakesville haters to read that kind of thing.

Submitted by lambert on

... we mean "parastic," since I'm not sure what MM or SV gets out of the deal.

The confusion between the two concepts seems quite telling.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

Even a tick will drop off after getting it's blood meal.

I don't think this entity wants the host to actually die, it has said so itself above. I think there is a different name for a creature who depends on the host, but where symbiosis doesn't exist.

jinb's picture
Submitted by jinb on

I love this site, Lambert, and don't want to get "in trouble" as it were by saying this...but, with all due respect, the comments section at SKVA, not the content of the main posts, is where I found myself feeling empathetic. I guess validation is cheap, but sometimes, it also allows you catch your breath as you realize you weren't insane after all to have felt a certain way.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I'm a bit unclear, you don't like the posts at SKA?

I mean, because I think they are stalker creepy abusive, so maybe we agree? Because of that it has been tough to get past, you know, the people who post at the blog to wade through to the comments, take a mental shower, and try to fond something worth my time.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

Please.
Saying Melissa or anyone doesn't deserve to be bullied is quite a bit different than "100,000 % love for Shakesville and the entire team there"

IMO Melissa has been cruel and abusive and that was why I stopped going there. Doesn't mean she deserves to be abused herself.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I'm a bit fuzzy on this. When I wrote the following, was that 100,000% support or only 1000% support? Because I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone on either side.

As regarding abuse people feel they have suffered at Shakesville at the hands of McEwan, mods or commenters, actually, I AM sympathetic, obviously some feel poorly treated, some vulnerable people apparently have been made to feel more marginalized by their experience there.

Of course after that I just couldn't keep from adding that regardless, it wasn't an excuse for the creepy, abusive stalky stuff I had just read at SKA, when they had just recently been called out and were in theory on best behavior. Of course they could always send Melissa their own "Dear Muslima" letter, splaining why it isn't as bad as she thinks. OTAH, too late, right? She knows already. So do her friends and husband.

smott999's picture
Submitted by smott999 on

Well I've not been keeping up at all but is this the site you're referring to?
shakesvillekoolaid

I just took quick look but nothing struck me as stalking or creepy but perhaps I missed a link.

If the notes at Shakesfail
shakesville.tumblr.com/post/93256511314/re-pushback
Are accurate, the response is classic Melissa IMO.
Though in fairness I've not been back there for 2-3 years now. So perhaps she's changed.

The notes on declining traffic would indicate not, however.

Submitted by lambert on

From the About page of SKA

The fact is, her time needs to be[1] finished. No more invitations to Femfest. No more quotes in mainstream media. Done. Find something else Melissa. Maybe recaps since that’s the majority of your content when you’re not being snide and nasty.

That is the goal, to shut down SV. Sure, blog wars go on all the time, but let's call them blog wars, because that's what they are; they're not about "sharing." (Of course, it's always possible that there are good faith commenters that didn't read the About page, but frankly, if the site owner takes that mission seriously and appears on the comment threads, I'd expect the "we're just sharing" commenters to wise up pretty fast.)

Also from that same commenter, this:

I think it’s important to note that pretty much every progressive or progressive-leaning site, every feminist (and, I’d say, every athiest) blogger has gone through periods of time where certain events and fuck-ups by the mods or main contributors have resulted in the quitting of certain parts of their readership. I know this site has. Pandagon. Feministe. etc etc. If Melissa disappointed some people, well so has every other blogger on the net. Don’t like her if you don’t want; she’s not for everyone. Sometimes she’s not for me. It just comes off as super sad and pathetic to obsess over her every move, and to harass her, her mods, and her family. It’s creepy and stalker-y.

And I'd add FDL, Salon, Kos, and Corrente to the list. And I wholeheartedly agree with "creepy and stalker-y." I am a 1000% supporter of very, very few things, and SV is not one of them, but I think the hate site people would be a good deal happier if they stopped investing time in making sure MM was never invited to another convention. That's just so... small. And MM should keep running SV as she sees fit.

NOTE [1]. Note lack of agency (!!!).

UPDATE And I've plowed through the comments at PZMeyer's place, and the hate site people really do not give a good account of themselves.

Submitted by lambert on

Je reptete: SKA wants to take SV down. That's their mission. Not only is that not something I can possibly support, that's not about sharing. Anybody who thinks it is not paying attention, possibly through naivite, or has issues of what is good and bad faith to work through. If there is sharing to be done, SKA is clearly not the place to do it, if only because that's not compatible with the stated mission of the site.

Again, people can do what they like, but let's be clear about what's being done.

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

As part of this discussion, I have been doing a bit of the google thing on hate sites. It is an interesting phenomenon. [and, newsflash, SKA hits about every definition bang on]

While doing that, I stumbled on this post at Eminism.org from last winter, which demonstrates (again) the true nature of SKA, which is basically, well, a hate site:

I did not try to have him ejected; I made no such request, and was only told after the fact that he had been ejected. And his presence wasn’t just “triggering”; when he kept approaching me after he was ejected twice, sneaking around so that he could come near me undetected by HAVEN staff, I was afraid of actual, physical danger. I wrote in my article:

As a survivor, I experience triggers frequently. I know that, most of the time, I feel scared about the situation or people because of something that has happened in the past, and that there usually is not an actual danger to myself. So for the last two days, despite the fact I felt scared and could not stop feeling shaky or sleep for more than two or three hours each night, I kept trying to tell myself that nobody was going to actually harm me.

After the third time Brannon violated boundaries of women like me, Lauren, and others, however, I was no longer certain that my scared feelings were just feelings: women know that someone that angry and out of control is capable of doing the unthinkable. So I decided to pack up and leave the conference hours before I had originally planned to do so.

It should be clear to anyone reading this that I was not just merely “triggered”; I believe that many other women would feel the same way if the same man kept approaching them after being ejected by his peers multiple times. For shakesvillekoolaid to describe this incident as merely “triggering” minimizes Brannon’s abusive behavior and distorts what I clearly wrote.

I have no idea what shakesvillekoolaid’s grievances against Shakesville are, but it appears that they have chosen to hate on me and publicly distort and discredit my work, solely by association to Shakesville, rather than actually engaging with my work and offering honest critiques. That fact led me to lose any interest in finding out what those grievances are.

They obviously didn't care about her feelings, lived experiences, real life fears or anything else about her. She dared to cross-post on Shakesville, therefore FAIR GAME.

Submitted by lambert on

That said, are Brannon and SKA connected directly? I ask for information only; I'm confused.

And that's a great link you found on hate-blogging; good info, interesting style. I seem to be making my posts more personal, so pray dawg I don't trigger a hate fest.