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Macho Posting on Libcom and SolFed

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wojtek
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Nov 8 2011 00:06
Quote:
yeah what wrote:
A lot of the discussion and behaviours identified are far, far worse than anything we're discussing from this site, and makes you realise how much more thoughtful and respectful most people are on here!

I don't think you are but just to clarify, you're not saying that peeps ought to be grateful cos it's miles worse elsewhere are you? x

bastarx
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Nov 8 2011 05:19
Steven. wrote:
This was just a minor point, but on revol 68 responding in an apparently rude way to a poster called Lone Wolf, no one should draw any conclusions about the site from that. For starters it was a good few years ago, before our stricter posting guidelines, and secondly the poster in question had some serious issues, including being a compulsive liar, harassing other users, etc.

The derail of this discussion with BJJ seems to be over now, but just to make clear that it is a derail and people should not respond any further to that side discussion here. BJJ, especially in the thread about macho posting styles it is utterly unacceptable to act in that aggressive manner.

Who was the compulsive liar? Revol, Lone Wolf or someone else?

yeahwhat
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Nov 8 2011 10:34
wojtek wrote:
Quote:
yeah what wrote:
A lot of the discussion and behaviours identified are far, far worse than anything we're discussing from this site, and makes you realise how much more thoughtful and respectful most people are on here!

I don't think you are but just to clarify, you're not saying that peeps ought to be grateful cos it's miles worse elsewhere are you? x

Erm, no. I was just trying not to appear as though I was 'rather cynically using this moment of self-criticism as an opportunity to attack the project itself and the admins', as Malva insinuated yesterday on the spin-off thread.
I AM grateful that this site has so much more awareness and a positive attitude to this, compared to most other places. But I'm not suggesting that means there's nothing to debate or discuss or challenge on here, quite the opposite, as most of my posts on these forums probably indicate.

Edit: I suppose I'm just very sensitive to the fact that as a new poster who has been quite critical of various things, it probably looks as though I'm just a serial whinger who's not interested in contributing anything positive to/about the site. Which is probably where Malva's comment came from. It still upset me, though, that this is how longterm posters view my contributions so far.
So, I will knock it on the head.

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Steven.
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Nov 8 2011 19:08

Peter: it was LW.

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Steven.
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Feb 29 2012 10:29

Just to bump this thread to say that following it, as well as other feedback we have received we are trialling voting up/down of posts. Full information here:

http://libcom.org/blog/new-feature-vote-comments-updown-26022012

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Rob Ray
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Feb 29 2012 15:50

Thing is though revol we aren't in that phase any more, it's not like we're regularly having to argue with squads of primitivists and eco-hobo-chic geeks because the site's politics are very well known amongst anarchists now and most of the people who think that way avoid it - in fact most of the newbies I've been seeing round here have been people with very little background politics at all requiring a very different approach to "don't be mental."

And it's a bit of a rose-tinted view to say that it was all about fighting the good fight. A good chunk of it was exactly boys'-club bullshit which put off anyone who wasn't part of the gang. I've been here as long as anyone and even I felt strongly excluded or railroaded out of saying things sometimes because I was worried about being slagged off.

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 1 2012 13:05
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At the moment it's far less rowdy (some might say dull) or flamey than say Urban75 which isn't wringing it's hands about it's "macho" culture etc I might add that Urban75 has a far more diverse range of posters than her despite the fact you can call something a load of balls without being told by an admin you are being inappropriate.

Urban 75 isn't an anarchist forum, we woudln't judge it by the same standards, That said theres a lot of bad shit that flies on urban 75 that would rightly be deleted and clamped down on immediately here

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Arbeiten
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Mar 1 2012 13:10
revol68 wrote:

Oddly it was people like this that did the most to spread the idea that libcom was a macho boys club...

HUGE smear on people with legitimate opinions on the way in which some debates are played out on libcom. Maybe they didn't get the impression that libcom was a macho pissing contest from ABC, maybe, just maybe, they got it from reading the threads!

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 1 2012 13:20
Rob Ray wrote:
Thing is though revol we aren't in that phase any more, it's not like we're regularly having to argue with squads of primitivists and eco-hobo-chic geeks because the site's politics are very well known amongst anarchists now and most of the people who think that way avoid it - in fact most of the newbies I've been seeing round here have been people with very little background politics at all requiring a very different approach to "don't be mental."

And it's a bit of a rose-tinted view to say that it was all about fighting the good fight. A good chunk of it was exactly boys'-club bullshit which put off anyone who wasn't part of the gang. I've been here as long as anyone and even I felt strongly excluded or railroaded out of saying things sometimes because I was worried about being slagged off.

Pretty much sums it up for me. Some of the arguements on libcom in 2005 etc were a product of their time. Class struggle ideas were at a low ebb within anarchism in general, These days, coming on to a decade later,. thats no longer really the case. Class struggle and libertarian communist ideas are much more prevalent. Looking back a lot of the in jokes and forum culture wasn't exactly great, even when seen as a reaction to things as they were.
I'd certainly have no interest in sitting around reminiscing about such things and pretending it was all hunky dory.

Arbeiten is correct to point out the smear inherent in revols post aswell.

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fingers malone
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Mar 1 2012 18:23
Arbeiten wrote:
revol68 wrote:

Oddly it was people like this that did the most to spread the idea that libcom was a macho boys club...

HUGE smear on people with legitimate opinions on the way in which some debates are played out on libcom. Maybe they didn't get the impression that libcom was a macho pissing contest from ABC, maybe, just maybe, they got it from reading the threads!

I've never read any of those other sites, all my opinions about libcom come from reading libcom. They might still be wrong, mind, but they are not based on gossip.

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 5 2012 23:46

Quoting from another thread so as not to derail...

revol68 wrote:
I said it was ironic that many of these macho idiots were central in badmouthing libcom for being macho

i'm not sure that's true. i don't recall the guy who punched a libcom admin saying libcom was macho. him and his mates were too busy threatening people for that as i recall. but even if he who shall not be named was being a hypocrite, i don't see what relevance it has to the current discussion, which has nothing to to with that group, and is coming from people who (afaik) don't know that lot or have any connection to them.

if anything, those incidents would suggest to me that macho behaviour amongst anarchists isn't limited to verbal/posting behaviour, but also includes physical violence in its repertoire, alongside the other IRL behaviours brought up in this thread (talking over people, dominating meetings, unnecessarily adversarial behaviour and so on), i.e. a general tacit assumption that aggressive men get to dictate the terms of participation and if you don't like it you can piss off. some of that's probably the tyranny of structurelessness in activist circles, but this came up specifically in reference to SF which isn't structureless, so i don't think it can be dismissed as 'shit anarchists are shit' either.

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Rob Ray
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Mar 6 2012 11:31

There's definitely the ability to talk over people I think, particularly fast and verbose typers with more time on their hands in the office or whatever can end up drowning other voices, particularly if working in concert. If these posters also happen to share a more macho approach that can sometimes completely overwhelm normal conversation, which has happened on libcom in the past and probably contributed to its forum reputation.

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Joseph Kay
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Mar 6 2012 16:34
revol68 wrote:
I think online forums can't be usefully compared to political meetings, they are far more informal and you can't dominate by simply talking over people and denying a right to reply.

Well, loads of things have been listed in this thread as having that effect:

"A prevailing need to assert one's own intelligence, authority and immoveable rightness"; "those who do not know particular things are patronised, and/or excluded"; "one-up-man-ship culture"; "cliques of men I have encountered who really exhibit alpha male behaviour, which is strongly linked to their own sense of personal authority. Those types are not as interested in debate as they are in maintaining their authority and they are particularly defensive when they feel challenged"; "I can't imagine bringing up issues which affect women that aren't strictly to do with class struggle without being called a liberal, or at best being ignored."; "I can't be arsed with the arguments, the antagonism and aggressive behaviour. And secondly, the need to be 120% ideologically clued-up and well-read before you even start."

That's at a really quick glance over this thread. A lot of people said they were more worried about it IRL than on libcom, since they can choose not to use libcom. But from libcom's point of view, if the 'discussion' here is so aggro that people - and we're talking active libertarian communists here not primmos, liberals or whatever - just don't bother coming back, that has exactly the same effect as people dominating meetings, talking over people, interrupting and so on, i.e. exclusion of lots of people. Some times this is even explicit ('if you don't like it don't post!' etc).

And just to pre-empt the line of argument made elsewhere, this has nothing whatsoever with humour, having a laugh, being fun and so on. Nothing quoted above is complaining about 'jokes', so let's not go down the 'humourless feminists are stealing our enjoyment' road.