Posted by: Ophelia | September 4, 2008

Watch your mouth

If you’ve ever written for a blog or contributed to any sort of discussion regarding race, gender, sexuality and more and you just happen to identify as female, chances are good that someone will try to silence you.

Renee and Dirty Rotten Feminist have recent posts regarding this phenomenon. You’ll notice that both comments sections feature bawwing and gnashing of teeth over why its inappropriate to traipse into a blog and demand that the writers stop talking about what they’re discussing or how they ought to modify the manner that they’re speaking. As if its not one of the oldest tricks in the book to suggest that foul language and political discussion is inappropriate for ladies (as if that’s not a loaded term in and of itself). Further to suggest that talking down to someone and suggesting that they’re sexually promiscuous because they use naughty language is somehow appropriate for a feminist space is ridiculously laughable. Even more laughable is turning it into a matter of freedom of expression–while demanding that someone curb theirs in their own blog!

Kacie says it well: And about my cursing. No I will never stop. It’s part of my style on this blog: that I am very very very very angry and I will express it as such. Do you want to know why I am angry? Well the short story is that we live in a racist, classist, sexist world and people would rather poo-poo my crass word choice then actually care about the issues. The long story? Well, it’s my whole blog, really, but I would urge you to start here, here, and here. I am angry because 1 in four women will be the victim of attempted rape. I am angry because my students, who for the most part are minorities and live in a low-income community, are 9th graders on an average 3rd grade reading level and go hungry every day. I am angry because women are beat by their husbands, children are raped, girls are sexualized, people are starving, and my status as a full human being is questioned every day because of the business between my legs. And all that anger, frustration, and rage comes out, a lot, in the form of a good-old fashioned FUCK YOU.

But what about the men? But what about the grammar police? But what about reader’s tender eyes? But what about if you don’t understand why they’re saying what they are stop and think, ask questions, and don’t demand that they stop talking or change their manner of speaking to suit you. It’s no one’s job to make you understand–though people are generally willing to engage with you if you are here to learn. But it certainly is not anyone’s job to make you see the light or to start speaking in a manner you deem appropriate in their own blogs that deal with women’s issues.

I swear, nothing brings out the trolls faster than talking about popular culture, men, politics, and videogames.



  1. The comments on Renee’s blog drove me crazy this morning. I mean, woah!

    What amuses me most is that these trolls think we’re acutally going to LISTEN to them when they tell us what kind of language to use or what subject matters to cover.

  2. I think the part that most stunned me is that they didn’t realize that everything that they said supported the post in its entirety. I said don’t come to a feminist blog and say what about the men. Of course they then proceeded to say what about the men.

  3. Go into a video game blog and go “what about books?” It’s the same idea.

  4. Hi! I came across your blog when doing a little research into the letter to Palin. I love Kacie’s response to whoever griped at her in the comments. Thank you!!

  5. I swear, nothing brings out the trolls faster than talking about popular culture, men, politics, and videogames.

    Good lord, yes.

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