Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The upside of anonymity: a review of a comment thread

Pandagon and done it again. Amanda Marcotte, in pointing up the obtuse misogyny of a particular repeat offender, managed to convene a lively, informative and, for most of its long run, a very respectful and adult conversation that managed to stay largely on its topic of the social significance of a kind of cosmetic surgery you might not have heard about. Toward the end, a few commenters began to flame each other but for most of its duration, what I'd be tempted to call the "vagina dialogues" operated as a safe place to compare experience and learn of feelings about stuff you just never could discuss face to face with more than a few of your closest friends or S.O.'s. Really, it was kinda special because for a long time, the only snark or rebuke being handed out was to a few resolutely clueless trolls. Just what Amanda and crew are tilting at when they say "patriarchy" really does become a bit clearer to at least some of the commenters as the thread progresses. Though it might seem trashy to prudes, and it is not totally free of meanness and miscommunication, I think it is an example of a beneficial sharing hard to achieve in any other format.


JahTeh said...

"Dumbo flaps"??? I always wait until I have an hour to spare for your blog because you send me off to such interesting places.
I don't know why I shook my head and said 'only in America' because it probably happens in Oz as well.

GreenSmile said...

Jahteh: While most of the contributors to that thread appear to be yanks, there are a few from other places as well, UK among them and I noted a few commenters who attributed their "grooming" choices to the steamy weather in their particular corner of Oz. The phenomenon of such revealing honesty in the company of a crowd of perfect strangers is not unheard of at Pandogon. Its hard to imagine a room full of people, wearing masks, let us say, talking like that.

I aim to please my readers, all six of them. I think most people read blogs in an unseemly hurry; as if they wanted to sound informed and aquire the most current opinions without the work of actually digesting all the news. But not here at ET: in readership, I go for quality, not quantity.

BTW, spiffy new email addy ya got there.