Intermission: Is the Shit List Warning System Actually Helping Anyone?
Hi there folks.
This isn’t a standard post and I’m still more or less on hiatus from blogging. But I do have a question for my readers. A while back I created a page. It’s got a pretty harsh name, harsher than its actual purpose (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about well that answers my question right away, now doesn’t it?) which is to warn people if certain large scale or popular blogs have made serious mistakes and refused to apologize for or admit to them. But as we all know, “The Warning List” or the “Zero Accountability List” isn’t really going to be read by well… anyone (which really is kind of a statement on how bloodthirsty the online social justice activist community can be, including my past self, but that’s an issue I think I’ve gone over to the point of nausea on this blog by now).
Let’s go over the issues first.
As far as things go, the Shit List is very prone to inciting angry responses. People don’t like being called out for mistakes they try to hide (or don’t believe are mistakes) and especially not in a way that’s harsh (we’ll go over whether the list is so harsh that it actually can’t function later in the post) and their sell out apologists also don’t like it. For that reason I’ve gotten a LOT of enraged whining sellouts on that particular page. Including, but not limited to, tone argument dropping assholes, painfully silly people like some wildly off base jackhole who seems to think it’s racist to call out black cis women for cissexism if you’re white (which is oppression olympics to a degree of ridiculousness that I can’t even comprehend), people who LOVE MELISSA SO MUCH THAT THEY CAN’T STAND A SINGLE NEGATIVE THING ABOUT HER BEING ANYWHERE ON THE NET (I mostly delete those Shakesfail comments, because they’re like swarms of locusts, millions of the same old crop eating shit) and people telling me that I’m a mean old uppity bitch and a half.
It’s tiring fielding all this oxygen waste word vomit spraying into my comment queue and as anyone who reads my blog knows, I have a lot more pressing concerns to tire me out than wasting my time on that bullshit.
I’m also really tired of people sending me emails of blogs simply run by people they don’t like or who GASP aren’t polite about oppression or for anything unrelated to the purpose of the list. Let’s face it, if you don’t know what the list is for to the point that you think it’s some kind of personal hate list, well then you certainly aren’t being helped by it. And it isn’t helping me cuz I don’t personally hate anyone on that list. No, not Renee, cuz she did personally apologize to me (so we have no personal quarrel on my end), the reason she’s on the list at all is cuz she specifically refused to allow the apology she said to apply to all the other trans women she attacked with cissexism. No, not Melissa McEwan. That’s more a sense of contempt and perhaps even pity since she still believes we all hate her and weren’t just upset because she has no ability to apologize for eulogizing a genocidal cissexist feminist. And no, not Bil either, I actually find him to be a nice, very likeable guy. He just keeps fucking up on trans stuff is all.
It was never a personal list, if it was, it would be huge cuz there are a ton of activists I have a personal beef with for things unrelated to social justice and I wouldn’t waste space on a non personal blog for it.
And then, is the list even aptly named? Is the design of this resource even helpful or useful? Because let’s face it, calling it a shit list is a bit on edge of overdoing it. And I and others have talked a ton on how SJ does sometimes overdo it. Whether it’s the tumblr army of death descending on one privileged person, even after their apology, to light them on fire, or it’s the tendency to overuse the callout and throw in levels of nasty into it that edge into more revenge than activism, I’d say it’s really time to start analyzing all of this stuff and not ignoring any of it. That includes the early warning system. So I know, at the very least, I’m renaming the shit list to the Zero Accountability List so that my older more vicious model of social justice activism isn’t still acting like a poison for me (nuker’s bane of anger toxicity style). And no doubt the name is a source of a lot of the above confusion. Which doesn’t help anything.
I’d like to think in writing about how the call out is being abused and how a lot of the online SJ community, including myself, had been operating under a mob justice model and acting abusively, I would actually allow that analysis to affect how I handle things, but it just becomes hypocrisy with things titled like “The Shit List” on my blog. So it’s time to change that at least, in the spirit of not being a mob justice fuckwad.
A change in the name will also help make it more intuitive in a world where people just read the titles of things to glean a meaning, and therefore more likely to be used for its actual purpose of “oh hello, I should be careful at this blog cuz they’ve done bad things to people and won’t admit it”, instead of going “OH GOD KINSEY HATES ME/THEM WHYYYYYY.” (Admittedly, Melissa will probably still do the latter even if I changed it to FLUFFY BUTTERFLY HAPPY TIMES LIST OF PEOPLE WHO MADE A MISTAKE AND DIDN’T APOLOGIZE AND MAY MAKE MORE BUT ARE PRETTY AND WONDERFUL AND WE STILL LOVE THEM JUST BE CAREFUL OKIES? OKIES. And no, I won’t change it to that name, even for the hilarity. It’s too long. XD)
The final issue is whether the list is actually helping anyone or not. Let’s face it, if the entire community knows by word of mouth about when a blog makes a serious transphobic, ableist, etc (note: I don’t have racism on the list cuz that shouldn’t be listed on a white girl’s blog. If you’re a poc activist and you have a list of sites who have had accountability fails on racism and not apologized for or admitted to them, I can link you if you want. But listing them myself just centers my white ass and I would like to avoid Tim Wising people) mistake, well then what’s the fucking point of maintaining a list? Who exactly am I telling? If no one doesn’t already know then I’m not going to add some more shit to my list of things I have to do, because I do actually maintain that list. It’s work. And annoying work at that.
So what I’m asking you for, my gentle readers, is to let me know if the list has actually helped you. If I get word from enough people that the list has been helpful (or people tell me that it will help them with the name change) then I’ll continue maintaining it. But if I feel that this is not really achieving much for the work I’m putting into it, I will be getting rid of it immediately. My spoons are not high much less infinite.
I appreciate any of your input but I will be deleting any comments on this post disputing the entry of any of the blogs on the list, even if they are valid disputes (like say, someone has shown accountability for a similar incident later, displaying that their attitudes have changed on those types of fail) because that belongs on the list’s comment page itself. And if you try to troll this page I’m just gonna delete you. Y’all been warned.
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Tags: blog management stuff, intermission, meta-activism
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