13 April 2007

We should All be Outraged

I have just finished reading an excellent post over at PoliTits, To Have A Say.

The post is a response to this Daily Kos post from Wednesday 11 April 2007. Or, more specifically, in response to the part of the post where the author refers to this post, by tech blogger Kathy Sierra. I'm relatively certain that all who read this will already be familiar with the situation (for those of you who are not, take the time to read the linked posts - I'll still be here when you get back).

In his climax of belittling Sierra's statements, Kos states the following: "If they can't handle a little heat in their email inbox, then really, they should try another line of work." Well, sir, I say to you: If you cannot understand that women have to take the heat (threats) seriously, because they are often, despite what you believe, carried out, then perhaps you have no right to comment on them.

I read the post in question at Daily Kos because I was following a link thread about the proposed "Blogger Code of Ethics". I agreed with him that it's a pointless endeavor, but then I got to the part where he disparages and dismisses Kathy Sierra. It was at that point that I decided to stop 'listening' to what he had to say.

As I said in my comment at PoliTits (if I may be so bold as to quote myself):
I am hesitant to enter into discussions on these topics, being a man myself, because of the narrow-mindedness and latent (or even blatant) sexist attitudes that male posters and commenters often display. I prefer not to be associated with such... morons. I am not suggesting that I would be blindly, or blithely, lumped in with the Neanderthal (no offense, Geico dude!) ravings, but, rather, that anything I, as a man, say about these topics, should rightfully be taken with a grain of salt.
DCup pointed out, however, "[r]ead them and comment and engage them." She was referring to feminist bloggers, but I believe that what she says should apply to all bloggers. Only by engaging - in a civil manner - can we hope to eliminate the barriers that society, and each of us individually, create.

When I read the Kos post, I should have added my voice to those who derided the author for his narrow (and incorrect) viewpoint. Instead, I decided that I just wouldn't read him anymore. That was wrong, and I apologize to to Kathy Sierra, and all the other women who have been threatened or worse, for whom I have not spoken up.

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