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Aziraphale (Member Profile)

bareboards2 says...

Isn't it so much more fun to actually exchange information and points of view, rather than getting snotty? I love it.

Maybe we are talking a bit at cross purposes. (Like, that has never happened before on teh intertubes, right?)

I try not to "re-edit" or "re-imagine" videos. I'm sure I do it -- I often do things that I later complain that other people do. This comment goes back more to your first response to me, however it applies to this comment, too. The idea that the video would be better if it this'd, or that'd, or it fails to do this other thing that it wasn't even trying to do. The concept of being conscious of "the bigger picture" is what I am addressing here.

However, isn't it just YOUR vision of what the bigger picture is that you say is missing? Because for me, I see a bigger picture being addressed quite nicely -- the vision that the video maker set out to address.

I wonder if the nebulous nature of your instinctive dislike to this video is indeed EXACTLY what the video maker was setting out to illuminate? Or rather, decided to be not obsequious to? Like women have been taught to be obsequious for eons?

I notice that you are sure that your difficult-to-describe instinctive reactions are "correct." What if it is actually your own internalized and unexamined sexism? I know you say thunderfoot bugs you, too. I also know that all my impassioned information about how women across cultures and time are expected to "tone it down" wasn't addressed in your response to me.

That is the elephant in the room here, as far as I am concerned. Sure, "condescension" is gender neutral. The whole video, though, is about sexism and the unconscious ways that it leaks out. I don't see you addressing that in your response -- except maybe, MAYBE, it is this nebulous and difficult thing you are struggling to understand and maybe, MAYBE, it needs to be examined and understood.

So maybe look at your feelings through that prism?

I say this as someone who has their own internalized sexism (towards men and women both) that I am constantly trying to identify and own and uproot. Racism, too. I so want to be the person who, like Stephen Colbert of old, who doesn't see race. And yet I do and I am mortified by it and I try to push through that lizard brain instinct and the training of my youth.

Something to think about maybe?

Or not. Maybe it just is as simple as you don't like the humor in the video, and I do. There are differences in taste, after all.

I suspect, though, that it is much more complex than that -- as you said, "maybe I'm going into it with the notion that I'm going to be offended anyway."

Aziraphale said:

First off, let me thank you for your kind words, and for engaging thoughtfully and civilly. I really respect anyone who can do that. So first, "poisonous" is probably not the right word, but I did feel like I was being talked down to. Possibly just because I'm oversensitive, or maybe I'm going into it with the notion that I'm going to be offended anyway, I'm not sure. It's not easy for me to put into concise language the nebulous feelings that float around in my brain.

Also, I'm almost certain that if the presenter had been a male, with the same tone, I would have found it equally as off-putting. As I said, thunderf00t is a dude that I mostly agree with, and I find his patronizing attitude to be... unhelpful at best.

In the end, I can't come up with a good rationalization for why the video should be any different. We shouldn't all be emotionless robots, and these issues *should* be talked about, but at the risk of falling into a relative privation fallacy, I think we all should be conscious of the bigger picture when creating content like this.


Aziraphale (Member Profile)

bareboards2 says...

Thanks for this thoughtful response.

I agree 100% with the idea of catching more flies with honey idea. Treating people with respect. All of that stuff is patently true to me.

However. Of course there is a "however."

I don't agree with the "clearly condescending" assessment. I did not find the delivery condescending in the least. I found it sarcastic and pissed off and appropriate to the topic.

This video is not meant to add to the debate or woo people to her side. It is flat out laying out the facts with a take no prisoners attitude.

That you think this is condescending and I guess poisonous is interesting to me.

Is this indeed sexism at work? Did you read Crushbug's comment? Do you understand that women are "policed" as to their tone of voice all the time? In fact, your mother's (true) advice that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar is actually the internalized oppression that we women struggle with all the time. Be sweet, be kind, be oblique. Manipulate your (male) partner into doing what you want by leading him to think it is his idea.

Just writing this out is making my stomach hurt. It is so poisonous, the suppression of free human expression that women are subjected to in so many cultures. (Think of young Japanese girls who cover their mouths coyly when they laugh.)

Having said all this, please don't think that I believe that men are the evil oppressors. Men have a different pressure put on them that distorts their psyches -- "be a man" is just as deadly as "be sweet".

I was just saying to a friend the other day -- I was wondering how it screws up little boys' heads when daddy leaves the house for a week long business trip, and tells his 4 year old son "You're the man of the house now. Take care of your mother." Good lord. He's a child! He needs her to take care of him!

Anyway. There is much that I agree with in your long and thoughtful response. I just don't think that these ideas are appropriately applied to this comedy video. As you sort of implied with your addendum.

Aziraphale said:

The narrator's tone in this video was clearly condescending, and that is not how you reach the other side of an argument. Even if every statement she made in this video was objectively factually accurate, the way it was presented all but ensures a full-on backfire effect.

I would compare the tone of this video to the youtuber thunderf00t. Even though he is someone with whom I agree on nearly every topic, I still find the tone of his videos to be overly patronizing, and as a result the message doesn't reach as many as it could.

I usually despise overused, banal platitudes, but there is one, I think, that should be considered. "You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar." Even if it is factually incorrect, the spirit of what implies is clear. You will have a greater chance of conveying your side of an argument if you treat the other side with dignity and respect, even if they don't deserve it. I have learned this the hard way over the years in many of my debates with theists.


All that being said, I can give the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe her tone was entirely for comedic effect, even though I think it utterly fails in that regard, and is a missed opportunity to contribute to a real debate.

Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...

"Poisonous tone and attitude." POISONOUS TONE AND ATTITUDE???!!!???

So, would you like to expand on that phrase, @vil? And perhaps read crushbug's comment above?

Because here is what I hear -- not that you are saying this, but it is what I hear:

Angry women are off-putting. Women with sarcastic voices are off-putting. Women who dare to be anything but sweet and compliant are off-putting.

Men are not "policed" this way. They are allowed a wide range of attitudes in the way they present information. Of course, they CAN be "poisonous" -- but I guarantee you no man's delivery this mild would be labelled "poisonous."

There is a "thing" called "vocal fry" that some women (and gay men) have that pitches their voices high (to be simplistic in its description.) There has been reams written about it. I assumed that most of the comments here were related to vocal fry.

Your comment here is not about vocal fry. Or if it is, wow. What words to use to describe it. Ouch.

So can you use different words to explain what you mean? If I am not understanding you?

As for "word counts not mattering" -- that is categorically not true.

I have been talking about this for forty years and have thought about it deeply, in a logical manner, trying to find the vocabulary to discuss it. I think I have succeeded, and it applies to black people, especially black men, as well as women, both black and white. Here it comes.

Words have values. Words with similar values are interchangeable with gender usage. Words that don't have similar values are sexist and racist. (Even if women do it to themselves, they are indeed engaging in internalized sexism.) If you can take a sentence with the word "girl" being used, and change the gender to male, would you ever -- in that specific situation -- use the word "boy"? If you would, go for it.

And here is where the "word count" matters. Because there are more women than there are men, and yet the word count proves that in the same situation, the word girl is used a lot more. Even if you take out the gymnasts, who are indeed less than 19.

I never say "never use the word girl." Because sometimes, in the same situation, you would indeed use the word "boy."

Let me give you an example.

Old Boys Network. Very powerful men, on the same social and power level, call themselves "boys." Leads to Boys Night Out -- same social and power level.

So can you say Girls Night Out without it being an infantilzation? Absolutely.

Can black people call themselves the n-word? Sure. Same social and power levels. A white person calling a black person the n-word? Nope, nope, nope, nope. Different social and power levels.

This will only make sense to older people, since it doesn't happen as much as it used to. Calling a black man "boy." A grown man. With a job and a family and dignity. Can a white person employing a black man call him "boy"? No. No they cannot.

When is a man over the age of 20 or so called a boy? Very very rarely. Young man, sure. But rarely "boy."

Yet when it comes to women, they are called girls until they die. And they do it to themselves, to make themselves smaller and less threatening.

So. Poisonous. Tell me what you meant, please? Keeping in mind the idea that "threatening" women need to stay in their place?

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Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...

Sigh. Way to cherry pick data.

Having said that, women are among the worst at calling themselves "girl." I hate it. They infantalize themselves.

I was watching a stupid movie the other day, and the main female character, who was CEO of a small internet startup that was going viral, said -- things are different now. We are called women now.

And for the rest of the fricking fracking movie, she used the word "girl" 99% of the time.

Maybe someday we will knock this shit off. I have hope.

Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...

My sincere apologies. It didn't read as helpful to me. Leading with "no it's not" set me up for missing that you were adding information, not slapping down an observation of the vid in front of me.

That is the problem with the internet. An offhand phrase carries meaning it isn't meant to. Tone of voice isn't included. Put those two things together, it can sow confusion.

Thank for the additional information. Sincerely.

Babymech said:

I wasn't pedantic, I was being helpful and providing links to interesting data! You're welcome!

None of the data from Grieves' work was in the video, except possibly the word twice. A quote from a press release, which might become part of the abstract, was in the video, with a useful little highlighty thing which probably wasn't in the press report. If I tell you, here and now, that there's a study showing that longer prison sentence are an ineffective deterrent to violent crime, that research isn't 'in my post.'

Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...

Not to be pedantic back at you...

Alluding to something and including the info in a graphic is indeed "included in this vid."

The word "research" includes the concept of "actual data."

But other than that, sure. Nice catch on your part.

Babymech said:

No it's not. It's offhandedly alluded to in the vid. Eo.

Some of the actual data is reprinted here, though:

But they haven't published a study based on this yet.

Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...





Good lord, this.

CrushBug said:

Wow, the number of people criticising the tone of the woman in this video... I was too busy being angry at the content. So much of the coverage this year was just offensive.

Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...


How nice of them to put it all in one place for us.

As for all the times I have discussed the use of the word "girl" and how it is not used like "boy" -- somebody did the research. It's included in this vid.

Vox: Sexist coverage steals the show at 2016 Olympics

bareboards2 says...


How nice of them to put it all in one place for us.

As for all the times I have discussed the use of the word "girl" and how it is not used like "boy" -- somebody did the research. It's included in this vid.

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