Saturday, June 23, 2007

I was banned at IBTP

I can't say I'm surprised I was banned, though I did try to keep a very respectful tone and stuck to the topic at hand. I admit I just felt the need to offer my two cents since it was a legal issue and that is my chosen profession. Silly me. And I want to state clearly. I was not trying to get banned, I was not trying to stir up trouble. I did start to get a bit annoyed at the accusations of dishonesty, but truly, I was doing my best to avoid fighting with anyone and just tried to have a conversation.

I am posting this mostly to point to the absurdity of why I was banned, which should be self-evident from reading the thread (assuming they don't just delete my messages on there, which also would not suprise me). I did not post there to try to stir up trouble, just to offer my honest comments. I did not try to hide who I was in the sense that I used my name I use here. I guess men aren't allowed to be anonymous online, though, even in this sense.

I also post this just on the off chance anyone from that thread wishes to ask me any parting questions. I'll answer anything someone cares to ask me.


Anonymous said...

Your introduction of a legal point of view into a discussion about a legal issue is clear you hate women....

hedera said...

The very name of the site should have warned you that the blogger is copping major 'tude. Personally I've never found assigning blame to be at all useful; it pisses off the blamee and makes him/her less likely to cooperate usefully in future. Also you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Assuming you want flies.

Cheshire said...

I like some of IBTP writings and I think you spoke well, I was also horrified by the idea that the word rape couldn't be used in a court by what you said made sense, I'm not legally trained so I don't know.
There is nothing I saw in there which was anything accept polite disagreement I am disturbed by the use of the word sex to describe rape, which to me suggests rather than penetration, force, attack does bother me.

Robert said...

I love how it was your post on feminism that got you banned. Not actually anything you actually said there. I doubt they even read it.

I's reasons like this that I only read feminist sites when I want ot get angry (or at least the comments). Often I agree with the general idea the post expresses, but then you get into the comments and anyone who doesn't agree with them is loudly heckled and then banned. They are not interested in actaul debate. Also, if you are a man your opinion is immediately suspect. For people who are supposed to be fighting for gender equality their haste to exclude viewpoints from the other gender certainly is a blow against them.

Case in point (and the example that made me wary of feminist sites) I was reading a post about an article that was attacking a study that said as pornagraphy has increased rape decreased. A commenter showed up with a male name like "David" and proceeded to explain how they made an honest statistical error, but that in general the evidence wasn't as strong as the study suggested and they were right to question it. The next comment was "whenever I hear a man try to talk about women's issues all I hear is blah blah blah."

It really put me off, as it was a perfect example of what they are supposed to be against.

OT: a misogynist is someone who hates women. What is the term for someone who hates men?

Alex said...

I think perhaps the issue is that you offered a reasonable, logical observation, in a forum in which people only want to rant against the "patriarchy." (I read your comment, but I seriously could not stomach the other illogical outcries)

Obviously, if I were to describe a rape without using the word "rape," and only had the words "sex" and "intercourse" to use... I wouldn't say, "he had sex with her" (which implies consent), I would say, "he forcibly initiated sexual intercourse while she was screaming," or whatever would work to get the point across. *sigh*

Fanatics in any forum (whether feminist, religious, etc...) are always like this. I tend to avoid discussions like that, for this exact reason.

Robert said...

Alex: exactly, too many of them over there are fanatics, they have no interest in persuading or debating. They are simply railing and screeching, and I think it harms the people who are actually working towards a more equal future by poisoning their own well.

I don't know what the fix is, execpt perhaps to just ignore them.

Anonymous said...

The reason you were banned is that you failed to understand--even after it was explained to you--that you were addressing a question that is not relevant to the mission of IBTP. The mission of IBTP is to deconstruct the role that superficially neutral and unremarkable aspects of society play in implementing and reinforcing patriarchy. In light of this mission, the question is not whether it was typical or legally justifiable for the judge to have made the ruling he did. Rather, the question is whether that ruling served to reinforce patriarchy.

A number of posters argued that disallowing the use of the term "rape" while allowing the use of the term "sex" reinforces patriarchy, because "rape" implies forcible, non-consensual activity, while "sex" implies a participatory activity. You were banned because you didn't address this relevant argument, and kept repeating a non-relevant argument.

To put it more simply, the discussion in that thread was not about whether the judge's decision was legally justifiable. The discussion was about whether it was patriarchal. And it was not up to you--a relative newcomer--to attempt to change the discussion.

DBB said...

Anonymous - why not give your name?

And no, the stated reason I was banned was not what you just said. The legal justification behind the judge's actions was certainly relevant and on topic for the discussion.

It is funny that I read the entire thread and no one stated what you just stated. And I was specifically asked about specific legal questions while there.

I'm sorry, I just don't buy your after-the-fact justification here. This is a rationalization you offer, not a reason, and certainly not the real reason. That's something else I'm familiar with, being a lawyer.

Here's the actual stated reason for my ban: "DisgustedBeyondBelief, thanks for reminding the gang, in your fucking pedantic asshole way, how much men hate women. We just don’t hear that enough! Especially from chickenshit anonymous men. There are hardly enough of those on the internet! BANNNED"

Noteably, I was only banned after someone posted a link to a post I had here regarding feminism, something I did NOT bring up in the discussion. And prior to that, I was accused of dishonesty and it there was even the implication that I was not really a lawyer.

I stayed respectful, I never attacked anyone (despite being repeatedly attacked myself) and I never said one bad thing about feminism. If an after-the-fact rationalization like this is what you need to do to feel good about what was really not a good thing, knock yourself out. Just don't expect me to go along with it.

Anonymous said...

I have tried to help you read between the lines and truly understand what it was about your behavior that led to your banning. You now have enough information to learn from your experience.

Whether you choose to do so is, of course, solely up to you and of absolutely no consequence to anyone at IBTP. Everything you posted there had been heard many times before and added nothing to the discussion.

DBB said...

Uh... people had posted many times before about why the use of conclusory language is frowned upon in testimony in court? That's mostly what I posted about. That's what the thread was about. I still think you are tryin to rationalize something you know, deep down, was wrong, but don't want to admit. Perhaps with some reflection, you will be able to admit it to yourself.

I did certainly learn from the experience, though it is probably not what you intended. I learned quite a bit, in fact. Most of what I learned saddens me, but does not surprise me. Maybe some day you will learn the lessons I learned there. But probably not today.

Had you actually addressed what I said and what was said to me, instead of giving me a clearly after-the-fact rationalization, you could have enlightened us both.

Anonymous said...

"Uh... people had posted many times before about why the use of conclusory language is frowned upon in testimony in court? That's mostly what I posted about. That's what the thread was about."

Because I am in a generous mood and have some time to kill today, I'll try once more to help you out.

The thread was not about why the use of conclusory language is frowned upon in courtroom testimony. I understand that it seemed--and still seems--to you that that was what the discussion was about. But it was not.

If you truly care to understand what the discussion was about, and why your posts received the reactions they did, you can read the IBTP FAQs. If you really are interested in learning--and not just reinforcing your preexisting ideas--it would probably take you only about 30 minutes to get the gist.

One hint I can give you is the following: The much more central substantive issue in that thread was the different treatment given by the judge to the terms "rape" and "sex".

DBB said...

Anon - I read the FAQ and I understand exactly what you are saying. And if you truly think that what you are saying is the reason I was banned, you need to undergo some serious self-examination.

You might find it helpful to talk to people outside of that site's rather toxic "groupthink" - find some people not affiliated with that group, ask them to read the thread without saying anything other than "read this" and then ask them afterwards if they buy your explanation for banning. I suspect you'll find the results surprising. And hey, if neutral, non-biased readers can somehow discern your rationalization before the fact, let me know, and I'll re-examine the issue. But I somehow don't think I'll be the one needed to re-examine.

You are not unbiased. You are very biased. You are part of the groupthink mentality there. I am not. And while I'm not unbiased in my interpretation of what happened in that thread either, my bias is far less pronounced than yours. I tried to keep an open mind. I was starting to change my mind about some things there. Then the attacks started. Then the posting of an irrelevant posting of mine. Then I was banned. Not that I planned on posting much more beyond what I did anyway.

I put this post up so anyone who had any further questions could ask them. I certainly welcome your input and I appreciate your taking the time to post here. But if you were honest with yourself (and really, if the others in that thread were honest as well) they'd admit that what you said to me here is not the real reason I was banned there.

Anonymous said...

"I certainly welcome your input and I appreciate your taking the time to post here."

Not a problem. Just for the sake of clarity, could you explain exactly what *you* think was the reason you were banned? (And I am not asking to start an argument; I won't respond to your answer to this question.)

eek said...

Well, here's the thing. As it happened, you missed the point of Twisty's post. You know the radical in radical feminism? As in "root?" Twisty dug down from the judge's decision to why he decided that way. Not whether it was permitted under our currently existing legal system, but what factors in our culture create the legal system, create the mindset of the judge, and the mindset of the jury as influenced by the terminology used in the courtroom. These are much more interesting questions to her audience than possible legal justifications under the current set up. Did it occur to you that the fact that the system as it stands already lent itself to that determination is in itself a problem for many of those in the thread?

You are working from different premises from the commenters at I Blame the Patriarchy; the traits you value and support in the legal system are frequently questioned and critiqued there. Because you could not even see how your premises informed your argument and how they differed from those of others in the conversation, you did not add anything of value to it.

It isn't that what you were saying wasn't understand; it was that it was a minor point at best, possibly irrelevant from the point of view of many there. Your refusal to see that others wished to move on in the conversation and your pendantic insistence on "teaching," certainly made for a bad impression.

You see, men who think they are all-impartial arbiters, who only wish to talk about their own points of interest, at great length and at the expense of derailing the conversation, are a dime a dozen on the internet. The women there have seen at least their share of them, if not more, and are rather impatient with it.

Of course, I don't expect someone who can't even see his own premises to see when he is talking too much or care when others - who are regulars and who were carrying on a conversation quite nicely before he arrived - become impatient with his repetition. It is all indicate of an attitude that yes, makes you unwelcome in that space.

So here's a second charitable attempt to open your mind a little. I don't expect it work, given your track record, but there you have it.

DBB said...

eek - People asked me questions and I responded to them. I was not attempting to derail anything. I just answered questions. In fact, I was yelled at for every minor point I did not answer, even when it wasn't a question. I was yelled at for not saying I was not a prosecutor fast enough when I never claimed I was (but apparently I'm supposed to understand from some vauge comment about taking out the trash that someone thought I was a prosecutor).

I pointed out the legal reasoning behind why something like that would be done, a reason that has nothing to do with "patriarchy" and that is also not limited to rape cases. There is a general rule that witnesses may not testify as to legal conclusions.

If you don't understand that, then the whole "premise" you are getting at really falls apart. It is true the judge went to a futher extreme than most would, but the basic premise is the same and it is also sound. Tell me, how exactly is it "patricarchal" to limit witnesses to testifying about that which they actually witnessed and leave the legal and factual determinations to the judge and jury?

I find it somewhat ironic to see criticism leveled at me for allegedly not understanding the basic premises behind the posting when the information I posted was basic information about the court system that, if you don't understand it, you really are in no position to offer intelligent criticism of it.

I would, however, be utterly fascinated to hear how the legal system, witnesses, and so forth would work "post-revoluton" - exactly what is the radical feminist method of a fair trial?

I see you accusing me of all sorts of things that simply aren't there - you attribute to me every negative thing every man has done or that you imagine has done in every thread instead of dealing with me, as an individual. I saw Octogalore criticised in another thread and she got far more into things than I ever did, but she was not banned, presumably because she's a woman.

Not to equate this to dating, but this reminds me of something back in the ancient days when I actually was in that horrible thing called 'dating'. I met a woman and we seemed to hit it off ok. That is, until she started accusing me of all sorts of horrible things. Every time I did not return a phone call within a short time, she accused me of avoiding her, or going out with someone else, or things far worse. Turns out, she had been treated pretty damn badly by some men in the past, who did exactly that. So it was understandable. But I wasn't those men. She was projecting onto me everything bad that had happened to her in the past.

That's the sense I got from that thread. That's the sense I get from that whole blog. I was starting to change my mind about that when the attacks began.

Sorry, I will not let you project onto me every asshole male troll who I'm sure you have seen on that blog. I was on topic, I was respectful, I attacked no one, and mostly I just answered questions from the legal perspective. If that is worthy of banning, well, so be it. You are welcome to your echo chamber.

Silly me, I thought adding fresh voices is always good for a conversation. I certainly welcome all voices here. Even if I disagree. In fact, sometimes the posts I disagree with are the most interesting - they can get me thinking, even if they don't change my mind.

Something you did not address was the fact that I was banned only after my posting on feminism was "found" (as if I was hiding it). Until someone from there actually admits that was part (probably a big part) of why I was banned, I am going to tend to see claims that it was for other reasons as ringing somewhat hollow. Why not own up to it? Is it embarrasment? (And now I must cut this short as I have to deal with a toddler)

Anonymous said...

in reply to robert

Robert said...

Wow, what a load of Bullshit. As if you were banned because you were arguing on the wrong topic.

Anytime someone could have said "Hey DBB, this is what we want to talk about please bring it back on track" (though I think you were on track).

No, you were banned because they jumped to the conclusion that you are really a feminist hating man who won't ID himself (not that they will, or anyone should) and they therefore didn't want your input.

The rest of this is just an attempt at rationalization.

Though I do appreciate the definition!

Alex said...

Let me summarize what Anon and others are saying:
"We wanted to rant against the [x item], and you were providing logical arguments for [x item], so we banned you"

And, really, I can't get any more involved than that with this, because otherwise I'll start sputtering and fuming, myself. Which is really the point of their diatribes.

Robert: Ignoring is the way to go, otherwise you just get bogged down in their spiral of raving.

Robert said...

I do find it amusing though that one of the things they dind't like at IBTP was that DBB wanted to remain anonymous.

Yet the people here who seem to be from IBTP are posting completely anonymously.

leta said...

I posted anonymously ... just the first post and the definition ;P

ScottBruin said...

Good information in that thread (from you, anyways). You should write a post about that, perhaps? Us non-lawyers like learning about the law every now and then.

Keep up the good work.

DBB said...

Apparently I'm still a topic of conversation there, though mostly in the form of ad hominems against me, mischaracterisations of things I've said, and mischaracterizations of a conversation at octo's blog.

Funny how none of that is being posted here where I could actually respond to it or where they couldn't be assured of a gaggle of sychophatic support. I will let what was commented there speak for itself, though I will make one small comment for the benefit of physioprof.

First, I never said "whaa, I've been banned" - I also never said "twisty is a meany" - it is funny how those from IBTP have to make up words and insert them into my mouth in order to then criticise me. Apparently what I actually said can't be used to critisize - even where you did quote me, you then conflate what I said to being a 'Nice Guy' - a term I thought was usually reserved for someone who has trouble getting dates and so is 'just friends', etc. - all find and dandy, except what you quoted was regarding an experience I shared with a woman who I dated, you know, had a relationship with (not "just friends") - one that I eventually broke off with her because I could not take her constantly projecting every crappy thing men had done to her in the past onto me. How this is about being a 'nice guy' who can't get a date, well, again, I guess you need to slap some form of perjorative label on me or make up words that I did not say in order to critisize me.

Which just reinforces what I already concluded from my observations of IBTP and those who post there. I mean, really, it is interesting to see insecurity there so severe that you feel the need to attack me in absentia.

If anyone there wants to actually have a conversation with me, rather than a straw-man version of me, I'm here, and I'm willing to listen - and actually have a conversation. And though we may not agree on everything (or perhaps on anything) I will not make personal attacks on anyone who posts.

Thorne said...

Hey, DBB. No questions here. I read the entire thread. Although you and I have our areas of disagreement (and so sorry that I keep getting sidetracked from coming back to them), I don't find YOU to be misogynist in the least. I do understand how at first glance, some of your thoughts may SEEM misogynist, but I find it a damned shame that more feminist bloggers aren't open to creating a dialogue, but would rather sit happily in their protected little circle jerks. Having spent some time cruising the blogosphere, I know that we have both found this to be a common problem at many "opinion" or "issue" blogs. Too bad, eh? It seems that this medium could be a great one for the echange of ideas and to open minds and hearts; instead it too often seems to be a madium for writing one's opinions into fact! LOL. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I support your quest for your own personal truth, the manner in which you express yourself and I honor your humanity.
Here's what I posted over there. It may not make it past moderation, so I thought I'd leave it here for you.

I've been popping in and out here at your place for awhile. I read a reasonable amount of excellent posts here, and a somewhat less amount of reasonable comments. I hear the views expressed in this thread regarding the patriarchial structure of our courts and systems and find them to be valid. I also find DBB's explanations to be valid and relevant, and am shocked that although some commenters seemed to agree intitially, that he was ultimately banned as a misogynist troll. I have engaged with DBB previously, and although I do indeed take exception to many of his views on feminism, I do not find him misogynist in the least. What I do find is a thoughtful male human exploring his reality and trying hard to put it all into some kind of context.
Did anyone actually read any of his blog beside the post above that was linked? Although I argued his concepts in that post, I nonetheless found him a considered and thoughtful conversant, as I did here. Here are another couple interesting links for posts of his that speak more to the person he is: My Views on Abortion, What I don't get about opponents of gay marriage.
I get the concept and purpose of this blog, and respect it. What I don't get is how blaming the patriarchy is blaming every male. But then, I don't get how being a feminist means supporting every women, either. Go figure.

DBB said...

Thorne - thanks for the kind words of support. I suspect you will find if you return to the forum you will find that your post did not make it through moderation. You can draw your own conclusions about why.

maribelle said...


I for one appreciated your first post because it gave an important POV not previously covered. However, pointing out the legal angle was not why you got banned. Yes, it's true that your tone was respectful, in the beginning. You were even thanked by several women in the thread as having added to the discussion.

The problem was that you couldn't get off the legal aspect as though that was the end and resolution of the problem. The posters were going deeper, and looking at some of the rationale within the legal and social precedents. But you were stuck at the legal angle, and couldn't/wouldn't/didn't take the discussion any farther, or even concede *any* of the other posters' many valid points.

A couple quick thoughts:

~"Respectful" is not just holding back insults. Respectful is also considering other peoples' opinions even if you disagree with them. Complete recalcitrance along with the "here let me teach you" vibe is not respectful, even without insults or profanity.

~You say you maintained neutrality, and yet your scene name is one of the most dramatically un-neutral ones I've ever seen, one that hints at tolerance levels breached and impending consequences.

This combined with all of the above reasons hinted that you were not there to engage in respectful discussion and debate, but to forcefully push an agenda in direct contrast with IBTP's mission. So someone went looking and found your anti-feminism/patriarchy-doesn't-exist comments. (Which, frankly, were dreary in their complete lack of originality.)

When Twisty says she's heard it all before, she's not be rude and dismissive. She's saying she's literally heard it all before, and the rest of us have, too. We live on the wrong side of male privilege and you have much humility to learn to even enter the dialog. Men are not going to learn by telling women about feminism. Men are going to learn by shutting the truck up and putting their patriarchal privilege in the garage, putting on their fire retardant underwear and listening to what the women are saying.

You do not have anything to teach us about patriarchy--but you have much to learn. Imagine [if you're white] hopping onto a black man's social blog and telling them all about the legal principles that underly the justice system, and that racism has nothing to do with it. Imagine the hubris that would take.

And most important of all:

Interesting that now on your own blog, your tone has changed (as is your right) and there is a more belligerent, defiant side to your argument.

Sorry, I will not let you project onto me every asshole male troll who I'm sure you have seen on that blog.

What you don't seem to realize is that this isn't projection; with your arguments, your pedantic recalcitrance, your complete dismissal of feminism and the very concept of patriarchy-- You *are* every asshole male troll on that blog--just without the direct insults. But the indirect insults are noted--and your sharp, belligerent tone here confirms the asshattery some of the women saw from your very first post--and offense was clearly taken.

We blamers can spot a man working against our interests at 10 paces. Just because you think you hid it, you didn't. We saw through you--and your words here confirm our suspicions.

FWIW I wouldn't have banned you. I think that your words were a very helpful and useful example of how men of professional men of education and thoughtful intelligence can still be belittling, belligerent and very dangerous to women's interests. This whole dialogue is a fascinating case study.

DBB said...

Maribelle - Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I will take the time to respond as well at a more reasonable hour.

If you really want to know where my name came from, I have a post about that specific topic. It isn't that hard to find.

Thorne said...

DBB, Of course my post didn't make it. Considering that it was fair and balanced and moderate, I didn't really expect it to. Places like IBTP are basically circle jerks. And as for the previous comment?? Were I you, I wouldn't waste my breath on a bitch who follows you over from a blog you were banned on, to generously educate you (in the same fashion you're being criticized for trying to educate them), while calling you an asshat. I hope she's one of those feminist who has reclaimed all those great feminist terms, because she is one among many who should revel in their identity as cunts.

delphyne said...

Good lord, why are you complaining you were banned? Did you read Twisty's rules of posting? If you are a lawyer you should at least be able to follow rules. Here's the one that applies to you:

"Therefore, while opposing viewpoints are grudgingly tolerated, in order to be considered suitable for posting here, these views must proceed from within a framework of feminist theory."

As you disagree that patriarchy exists and disagree with the politics of feminism, your views are not proceeding from a feminist framework, therefore you don't belong at IBTP. Find somewhere else to post and stop complaining that feminists aren't fooled by your pretend "respectfulness" which bears no relationship to the real thing but looks a lot like a man trying (and failing) to hide his misogyny. Why do anti-feminists always whine when they are outed, as if they have some right to pester feminists?

maribelle said...

DBB--to clarify, I only came and posted on this blog because you indicated that you were interested in further discussion. This is your blog, so if my comments are unwelcome, feel free to delete them.

Please note: your friend's reaction to my post was not to address even one of my points, but to insist I shouldn't speak at all, and that you should not even answer me. And then he pulled out the double barrelled b-word and even the c-word (the equivalent of the n-word for women) simply for me stating my opinion. Please know that this is how women are constantly treated on the internet and in life; state your opinion and you will be told to shut up and called the worst names in the arsenal. I know you didn't do this; I am pointing this out so you see what we go through every day.

DBB said...

Maribelle, you are free to comment here - I won't delete anything you say. And I don't condone using harsh language, either, though I do admit I appreciate Thorne's moral support, simply because of having felt the pile on at IBTP - I'm only human. And plenty of hateful things were said about me there - and then you called me an Asshat, for instance, but regardless, I will address the substance of what you wrote because I always try to do so when anyone comments here (though family obligations tend to delay that at times).

Oh, and one further thing, Thorne is not a man, she is a woman, and I think she has long identified herself as a feminist, so your assumptions are wrong - but you could have also figured that out for yourself if you visited her blog, only a link on her name away. Many of your other assumptions are wrong as well, but I'll have to leave addressing those for later.

Delphyne - Either your reading comprehension skills need much work or I simply need to express myself better. I never said I was "against feminism" - what I suggested was more in the realm of a PR makeover to enable feminism to succeed in its ultimate goals. Maybe my suggestion was misplaced, maybe it wouldn't really help, but it was not about opposing feminism or the goals of feminism - it was actually quite the opposite. I want those goals achieved and I saw what I thought was an impediment to that happening.

Therefore, I was not violating any "rule" in that regard from the site. I also don't deny that there has been such a thing as "patriarchy" - I just have found the term overused to the point of meaninglessness. Obviously I acknowledge that things are not fully equal in every way they should be, otherwise I would not be concerned about feminism not having reached its goals. So again, under the rules, there is no reason I should have expected to be in violation of them.

Now, I can understand that the subtle nuances of what I said above can be difficult for some to discern. I certainly could understand if that nuance was missed and I was banned if I actually went to IBTP and posted what I said on my blog on there unsolicited. But I did not. I said nothing at all about those things.

And I am not complaining that I was banned, I am just disappointed that what I thought was a small dialogue was nipped in the bud by a mob mentality that is so obsessed with "blaming" that listening is lost. I find it ironic that I'm lambasted for not "listening" enough to feminists by people who really haven't made much effort to really listen to me - and after I spent literally months doing nothing but silently listening (reading that blog and others and never commenting).

Ok, now that it looks like I do have some time, I will try and further address what Maribelle said earlier:

First, I admit I was focused on the legal aspect - I can't help it, I went to law school, it was a legal discussion. If you ask anyone who has gone to law school, you find they will tell you that it just changes the way you think, and for some there is no going back. So in that respect, I am guilty as charged. But the thing is, the complaint that I was banned because I did not shift out of that mode seems rather suspect because not a single person asked me to stop discussing the legal aspect of it - instead, I began to be attacked, it was questioned whether or not I even was a lawyer, and it degenerated from there. And I continued to be asked questions regarding the legal aspect of it and why I thought the way I did about it, and so I answered. Truly, if that is worth of banning, it makes me wonder at the quality of conversation there - that is a policy to shut down discussion, not facilitate it.

And no matter how "deep" the discussion goes, it was primarily a legal issue - it was regarding an edict of what could be said in a courtroom during actual courtroom proceedings. There is no escaping the legal context - in fact, if you ignore that or leave out the legal context in your "deeper" exploration, you lose the context and really the discussion becomes somewhat meaningless. Different rules apply in court. Very different rules. Any travel "deeper" into the issue would first and foremost be a legal discussion - you could probably write a 100 page law review article on it - what I said about the legal aspects of it barely scratches the surface.

I can understand some resentment if you think it is a case of me going in there as "here let me teach you because I'm a man and you are all women" - but of course, again, that is based on an invalid assumption. I spoke on the topic because I have knowledge of it because I went to law school, graduated, passed the bar, and work as a lawyer by profession. Gender has nothing to do with it. Seeing it as somehow "patronizing" for a lawyer to attempt to education on legal issues to non-lawyers seems like an attitude that is likely to keep you from ever learning much of anything at all. I would certainly have welcomed hearing other legal viewpoints from other lawyers. If the thread was about botany, I'd love to hear more from a botanist. Again, gender has nothing to do with it. It seems a pretty suspect assumption to assume when a lawyer talks about the law it is about condescention to women. Had the blog and thread been entirely men in the posting and discussion, I would have said nothing different. So sorry, I really don't care if you are a man or a woman, what I know and can share about the law doesn't change.

If you take a step back and think about it, your making that assumption is really you being sexist, not me - you are the one concluding something about me based solely on my gender, rather than who I am as a human being. I say that not so much to critisize, but in hopes that you'll at least consider that the next time, before you make that assumption about someone.

To address your next point, I was not there to "push an agenda" - I NEVER mentioned my self-addmitted controversial posts on feminsim, and I had no intention of doing so, because I knew that was not the place for it. Again, you make an unfounded assumption based on your own prejudices and then attack me for it.

(And as for the "originality" of my posts, I think you totally misunderstood what I was trying to say, which admittedly is partly my own fault if I was not clear, but when you get it that far wrong, I tend to think that you did not read particularly carefully (and probably did not read the comments where I tried to clarify myself). As noted above, I am NOT anti-feminist. I WANT gender equality. In my own mind, I don't see men and women as anything but equals in all respects. How this somehow becomes "mysogyny" because I offered a suggestion I sincerely thought would help in that regard - well, all I can say is that you remind me a lot of MRAs who call all feminists "man haters" or "misandrysts" - it is somewhat ironic to see you basically engage in the same behavior as the MRAs who (probably rightly) have been banned.

You should also realize that saying you have "heard it all before" does not mean that what you heard was not valid (or invalid) and does not mean you have addressed it. I could say regarding the areas where women have not achieved full equality that I have "heard it all before" - would that convince you (or anyone) that this somehow addresses the issues?

And again, as said above, I did PLENTY of listening. You did not notice because I was listening and not talking. Conversation, though, eventually has to involve both sides actually stopping talking to listen. Given the number of misconceptions and mistaken assumptions you've had thus far, I'd say you are the one who needs to work on listening skills, not me. (Thinking Thorne was a man, not bothering to find out where my name here came from, not getting that I am about as pro-women's equality as one can get, etc.)

So yes, you ARE projecting. You are projecting quite a bit. You are not the only one. Much of the criticism leveled at me has involved, if you notice, inserting words into my mouth that I never said and then mocking me for having said them. Talk about a transparently easy case to identify of classic projection.

I'm not working against your interests, assuming on my part that your interests are full equality for women and men in our society.

I did not try to belittle anyone. I don't see how anytihng I said could be considered belittling, so again, you make a rather base assumption that turns out to be wrong.

Finally, I make no claims of perfection. I constantly worry if I am expressing myself clearly enough and often ramble a bit when I write (and don't have time to edit and rethink) but I try my best to treat everyone with respect, and no, not just superficially, either. I did certainly learn a lot from my experience attempting to contribute to IBTP, though probably not what you intended. It is funny that my negative impression of the blog was softening based on that discussion, and then it was very quickly verified.

Ok, now I truly must return to my family obligations...

Alice said...

hey... got to your blog and this post via a long and twisting path, but obviously spent some time at IBTP on the way here.

just wanted to let you know that as someone who would identify herself as a feminist, i really appreciated your input because it helped calm me down. it's really easy to get worked up about something like this (because it DOES seem incredibly biased on the surface, and possibly even below the surface, but that definitely is not my point now) and your post helped rein me in from frenzy i was starting to get whipped into. as someone with zero legal background, i really appreciated your take on the legal implications.

i guess i see where the IBTP folks are coming from - in that they weren't interested in the fact that this may not have broad-reaching legal implications in terms of hindering convictions, etc; they were interested in exploring how the move was unnecessary and thus sexist? i think? and you weren't addressing that topic per se - but as an unbiased onlooker to the whole fiasco, i would like to commend you on your respectful tone and failure to take the (very repeatedly offered) bait. i know they see your calm/neutral tone as condescension or whatever, but basically you'll lose that argument no matter how you play it. either you're cool and unemotional (condescending) or you fight back (aggressive). sucky position to be in.

basically this is a ridiculously long post saying: hey, i thought you held your own pretty well in a room full of haters, and did it pretty gracefully too. also thanks for helping reassure me that this judge's move will not mean The End Of Women's Lib As We Know It :-)

DBB said...

Alice, I appreciate your comments.

I am glad you found my contribution to the discussion somewhat helpful. That was partly my intent - to show that it was something that wasn't just about rape cases, but that similar bans on language is used in all trials. I also know from personal experience how, in general, one can get rather upset about something in a legal case when one doesn't have all of the facts. The McDonald's coffee case is a good example of that. Or any case I've ever worked on where I read one brief and think one thing and then read the opposite party's brief and come to the opposite conclusion - and thus you realize that you really need to dig into the facts and law yourself and reserve a conclusion until then.

I think you are right that I was being baited - I did not take it because really, sniping just does not foster discussion. I think you are right that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't - since I was respectful and did not resort to name calling and such, the name calling was instead inserted into my mouth by some of the posters there so then they could complain about it. Ok, no need to get all into that. Now I'm rambling (another lawyer thing, I'm sure, but I rambled before law school too...)

Really, I just want to say I appreciate what you said. If you ever have any legal questions on an issue like that, well, I can try and answer them. I can recommend that it is best to try and get all the information on any issue like that before passing judgment. As noted above, I have found that doing so myself has helped me greatly.

Thorne said...

Hey, DBB! I finally made it back over here after a busy (and alternately lazy) week of tattooing, the Blog Against Theocracy II, and getting set up for the new group blog I've been invited to join, Siren's Chronicles. (Yes I'm blogwhoring, but only because I think these 2 would be of interest to you. *wink*)
First, let me offer my apologies if my language offended you. I'm afraid I can't apologize for offending Maribelle, since I'm nothing if not sincere, and I sincerely intended to offend her. her misandry offends me. Forgive me for rambling on, but here is a comment I left on a thread at Blogher (Before I gave up over there) entitled What the F*ck: In Defense of Women who Swear, which was, (as seems to often happen for some reason???) the thread stopper:I think when I was young I peppered my speech and writing with unthinking profanity. It was novel, I was trying it out. As I got a little older it became a habit, and the words seemed to lose their punch; they were as meaningless as "uh" repeated between words for lack of anything better to insert. Then sometime around 30 (I think... it's been awhile), as I began to evolve as a feminist, I began to consider profanity more carefully. I can still remember the moment that I decided to reclaim the words "cunt" and "bitch".
"Bitch" was easy; I had and still have, no problem being identified as a bitch; I'm as bitch as I wanna be!
"Cunt" was another story altogether. What exactly is it about that word that makes the strongest, most intelligent of we women shudder with revulsion? It is solely the fact that it has been used as a term of degradation to and for us and our place of deepest mystery by men for so long that we have attached their fear and disgust to the word. The moment I chose to stop allowing those two words to be used as terms to degrade or intimidate me, I was free to claim them as part of my very heritage as a woman.
I'm a bitch!! I am not a cunt, but I have a cunt!! I love my cunt! (I also love it by many other names.)
I can almost hear the minds and hearts snapping shut as I type.
I digress. My point is that once I reclaimed those two words, I began to think about my use of profanity and appreciate the power and expressiveness of a well chosen "fuck" or "shit".
These days I do not pepper my speech or writing with profanity. When I use it you can believe that it is deliberate, and I appreciate speakers and writers who do the same.
As a sidenote, I've just read back over the comments and find it interesting to note how few of even those who admit to swearing have have actually included any examples of profanity in their comments. Things that make ya go... hmmmmm."

As I'm sure you've noted by now, I am an "outside the box" thinker, who welcomes the opportunity to examine my beliefs by giving serious consideration to the thoughts/opinions of others, research, and speculation. Your citing Maribelle on her assumptions was a great call, IMO. Had she commented with a link, I'd have cruised her blog in order to get a better feeling of her as a person, and might then have chosen to respond directly to her arguments here. But then again, if her blog was the same sort of sewer of blame and victimhood and misandry as her comments... NOT!!! Although I occasionally get drawn into these flamewars in the blogosphere, it is usually due to my love of people rather than ideas, as was the case with my attempt to comment in your defense at IBTP (which, of course, didn't make it past moderation). I posted here to offer my support because I find you to be a fine, questioning, openminded and articulate human being. That you manage to remain composed and polite (unlike others, myself included) is a further testament to your character.

DBB said...

Thorne, thanks again for your support. And no, you did not offend me with your language - I just try to avoid swearing myself because I think it can get in the way of discussion, particularly where things are already testy.

It takes a lot to offend me, and usually bad words won't do it. For instance, I AM offended by Scooter Libby being basically pardoned. I guess that tells you what sort of things offend me - I guess basic unfairness usually does the trick.

I do find it interesting that basically no one from IBTP who posted here has responded to me (or rather my responses to them). Of course, schedules can get busy, and maybe just no one has gotten around to reading my responses, but it has been a while. I also find it interesting that the general rationlization of why I was allegedly banned (that I wasn't taking the topic in the direction they supposedly wanted it to go in or wasn't "digging deep enough") has apparently NOT been the topic of conversation in that thread after I left - in fact, aside from some more personal attacks on a straw-man version of myself, the thread basically ended - which I think just goes to prove that the rationalizations offered were false ones - there was no interest in "digging deeper" into anything, there was just shallow "blame" and then a transition to another target.

Thorne said...

I know, DBB... remember, you didn't adopt that blog title for nothing. Still, the Libby insanity does remind us that it can, indeed, always get worse! :( It doesn't surprise me that the commenters haven't been back. The typical rhetoric to those uninterested in dialogue is "well, I've done my best to educate him/her. It's pointless beyond this". Of course, it is no coincidence that this reaction tends to come at the moment that their rhetoric is challenged in a way they are unable to answer.
You know, I've been mulling over the discussion at issue (not the flaming bag-o-crap part), and I have a couple of questions for you, if you please. (Forgive me if they were covered over there and I missed them in the poo slinging)
I thought that your legal explanations made a reasonable amount of sense, even if I don't understand the system well enough to really understand why the terms were banned in the first place. On one hand, it made sense to me that the feminists were outraged, but your posts made sense and tempered my personal response, as alice said/implied.
What I'm curious about is if words like "murder" and "assault" or "Burglary" are similarily banned from adjudication of those crimes?
And although I think I understand the legal premise for banning "rape" it seemed to go a bit far in banning reference to "sexual assault". Is the intent of this sort of thing to force/encourage witnesses to describe the actual act as they witnessed it, rather than using a sort of catch-all? And if so, wouldn't/shouldn't that hold true in the above criminal proceedings, as well??

DBB said...

Thorne - to answer your legal questions...

First, restrictions on conclusory wording is not limited just to rape cases. I've seen it used in other crimes, for instance, where the word "victim" was not allowed because that presupposed there was a crime and a trial is supposed to be where that is figured out. While what happened in the case at bar was an extreme example, the banning of conclusory terms really is unremarkable, in general.

Finally, keep in mind that the courtroom in a criminal trial has one purpose and one purpose only - to determine if a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of each element of every charged offense. Period. It is not a forum for espousing political slogans or dogma, it is not a place where one pushes an agenda, be it feminist or anti-feminist. That is not what it is for. So what is or is not allowed to be said really is irrelevant in that greater context - the only context that matters is - does it facilitate the single reason for the trial - determining guilt or innocence? If it helps that (or doesn't get in the way of that) - well, that is the only criteria that matters. Which is why in the thread I said it did not bother me that certain words were banned because, in my experience, the non-use of those terms did not stop guilty defendants from being convicted. And really, given the context, that is all that matters.

Thorne said...

Makes sense to me, DBB. It seems that using any of those terms during a trial (with the exception perhaps of opening and closing statements) does defeat the whole purpose of our system. If we are indeed "presumed innocent" then buzzwords like "rape, murder" whatever do seem to imply guilt before the fact, yes? Thanks for the explanation!