It’s all about my friends this week.
If you haven’t heard, one of my dearest friends has hung up the blogging hat. If you don’t know FreckledK, then I’ll tell you who she is.
She’s the woman who will walk up to the head to toe tattooed tough girl at a gritty bar and say, “Did you just say something mean about my friend?”
She’s the woman who will fly out to Phoenix Arizona to get you drunk because you drove 2800 miles to escape a relationship that crashed, burned, imploded and then slapped you in the face, with dirt.
She’s the woman who, on hearing your plight, will put her phone down on her desk and enlist all her co-workers in an immediate campaign. She’ll even drive the Save Ferris blimp.
She’s the woman who will point out, despite your best efforts to believe the contrary, that you are, in fact, in love again.
K’s post and farewell stands up for what she feels has become a widely accepted practice in blogging: “Oh, it wasn’t me who wrote those racist, misogynistic, hateful, comments. It was my ‘persona.’ My alter ego. It wasn’t me at all.”
It’s sort of like little boys who break something then turn around and say to mom, “I didn’t do it.”
Right. Little boys.
Women are more insecure beings by nature. Can you blame us? We’ve been thought of as the “lesser sex” for more years than anyone can count. In theory, we’re equal. In practice, we’re not. And we probably never will be.
Every time I take a new job, I know I will be confronted with a whole host of new people, some of whom will air their obvious hate for my gender with very little disguise. Men I have worked with have told me the following:
“If you don’t move out of my way, I’ll rip that dress off you.”
“Why don’t you come over here and sit on my face.”
“A woman should never make that much money.” (The person he said it to came and told me.)
“I know why you have this job. If you think I was born yesterday, you’re wrong.” (In case you didn’t get that one, he implied I was sleeping with the boss. I wasn’t.)
If I believed everything those unsavory characters in the Construction and Land Development world dealt me, I could become a really insecure person. I refuse to define myself by what some others choose to.
I know that many women bloggers have discussed the non-stop slams we take, not only for our gender, but for our age, for being too flabby, for being cougars, for not being Russian, for whatever the fuck it is that we’ve done wrong now. The list consistently grows. Why? Because much like the Real World and all other reality shows – drama sells. The tiff from last season morphs to a slap this season which morphs to rehab next season which morphs to murder the following season. The controversy must always be topped.
The problem with blogs though, is that they are not a TV show. They are the ideas of individuals. In some cases, it is a few misguided individuals, persona or not, who like to yank chains and pick the zit of women’s insecurities. What kind of person shows up at happy hours, witnesses that the average size (and National Average) of women bloggers is a 10, not a 2, and then goes home to pen yet, another yawningly dull “any girl over a size 2 is fat” post? What kind of person shows up at happy hours, assesses that a good majority of women bloggers are around 30 then goes home to pen yet another achingly trite “women over 30 are losers who just want to get married and can’t because they are such colossal losers who could never get a guy like me.”
The kind of person whose blog I would never read. And you shouldn’t either. You can slam them back with insults to defend our gender or you can stop reading and stop commenting. If there is no audience, the show goes dark. How many more hateful posts do you think they’ll churn out if several posts in a row remain with zero comments. Zero zero zero. Give them the number of comments they think our dress size should be. Zero.
And if you don’t want to stop reading for that reason, stop reading for this one: Some people are just too stupid to deserve their First Amendment Rights.
Smoochies, FreckledK. The standard you set for blogging, but more importantly, for friendship is one we should all hope to achieve.
“Men I have worked with have told me the following:
If you dont move out of my way, Ill rip that dress off you.
Why dont you come over here and sit on my face.
I know why you have this job. If you think I was born yesterday, youre wrong. (In case you didn’t get that one, he implied I was sleeping with the boss. I wasnt.)”
Guys said all of those things to you?
I’m a guy, and I’ve never even THOUGHT those things, let alone SAID them to someone else.
Yes, the first two statements were actually made by the same guy. I had a third from a different guy, but I forgot what it was when I was writing. Damn!
It sounds like that guy was Insecure. It took the form of” the best defense is a good(?) Offense” That’s where many women have it over men- Men try to hide their insecurities, women will talk about them.
She sounds like a Great Friend & one who I would keep in my speed dialer! Friends help Friends move, Real Friends help Friends move Bodies!
Can you post the link to her blog?
Ahem. Of course these blogs have their own echo chamber of like-minded guys. Whatever. They also have a regular group of women commenters who say things like, oh funny post but. Until of course a post is attacks their own insecurities somehow and then they get upset. What I found funny is that a lot of these women didn’t have a problem with the bloggers ripping women over 35 but then the age of attractiveness so to speak starting dropping. When it got to 25 and still was dropping a lot of formerly admiring women starting complaining. Just observing.
Again, whatever. Theyll never go completely dark is what I am saying. Something else amusing: one blogger who routinely dissects womens looks apparently freaked out when his happy hour photo was posted on another bloggers site and one of his commenters linked to it and I guess made disparaging comments about his looks. It’s hard to tell as it was deleted. The photo on the other site got blacked out, I guess at his request, but then someone else reposted it without the black splosh. I am not a big fan of what this person has done to other bloggers (the one who reposted the photo) but sometimes poetic justice comes in unlikely forms.
A lovely tribute to the lovely K, and I hear you on the second half. I stopped reading all of those blogs a few months ago, even to make fun of them, and I think my blood pressure has gone down. There are enough things ingrained in our society that make us feel bad about ourselves– I don’t need to seek out any more of it.
I just don’t get why anyone would devote that much time and energy to hating other people. Making yourself feel better by tearing other people down is pretty pathetic…and an obvious sign of deep seeded insecurities.
I read and comment on the above-mentioned site. Sometimes I doubt my own wisdom for doing so, mostly I just think of myself as one of those old guys on the balcony of The Muppet Show.
I try to stay out of blogger vs. blogger drama, as I try to avoid all drama.
Velvet, you’re a class act with a potty mouth. And that contrast is what keeps me reading.
Wild Bill – You are right. Women do talk about their insecurities. What a lot of women are seeing in the online world is that talking about your insecurities is getting yourself ridiculed. And that’s just wrong wrong wrong because then everything becomes fair game, feelings get hurt, blogs get taken down. It’s just a very damaging thing for many.
Pagan – It’s there, but not so visible as a link on the “one of my dearest friends” part. freckledk.wordpress.com; and the comments are very interesting.
MG – Yes, we’ve had long chats about this very topic, and the best thing to do is definitely stop reading.
Ninja – Agreed. I think this stuff speaks more to them than their targets.
Erika – You bring up some excellent points. When I was in discussion with K earlier this week, she said that except for a few, the women don’t stand up for themselves either. They agree like little lemmings. It is true. Perhaps because they think that if they agree then they will never be made fun of. Or because they want to be liked. I tend to believe it is because they want to be liked by the guy, not necessarily in a romantic way, but it’s certainly possible. What they don’t realize is that they are just a mere few weeks from becoming “too old” for the man in question, or a mere two pounds from becoming “too fat.” Is that any way to live? Seriously, pass the Devil Dogs and Yuengling.
When a guy consistently redefines what he thinks is attractive in a woman, i.e. “I decided all women over 25 are sluts, I will only date Asians, Now i’m only dating Russians, now I am only dating women who have had sex with less than 2 guys,” HE is the one who is insecure. He’s going out and approaching the attractive women and they aren’t responding, so he then classifies them as a “type” and tosses them aside.
I don’t follow the women-bashing blogs so I don’t know what you are saying about the “former admirers turning into haters” but that is fucking fascinating. It’s also proof positive that these guys are so insecure and so low on the totem pole of respectability that they will eventually alienate even their core. I frankly don’t care for the response, “they do it for hits and traffic,” because at the end of the day, whether you meant what you said (over and over and over) or not, you are still a douchebag.
I remember the posting of said picture by another blogger. I’m not sure why that person would be mad, didn’t they post it on their own site, or on the site of one of the other “hosts?”
Shannon – HA! My IM avatar is those guys from the Muppets, I forgot their names though now. Damn it.
I’ve seen your comments. You go to bat, seriously. You are one of our defenders for sure. And sometimes it really is necessary to make your point, especially in this case because the content of these posts are just so absurd. But in giving the hits, and leaving comments that stir some discussion just make the writer go home and say, “hmm, what can I say tomorrow to really piss them off? Oh! I know! I’m going to post that I won’t fuck a girl unless I can see her collarbone through her skin, because that’s a sign of a girl who is going to get fat if she doesn’t already have a spare ounce of jiggle somewhere on her body!” Then all the girls, good collarbones and bad, run in to defend themselves and the collarbones of women everywhere.
When does it end?
When we stop reading.
Velvet, I see your point. I really do.
When I comment, I battle absurdity with absurdity. I don’t get offended, I simply lob water balloons in the face of stupidity. As a general rule, I don’t care about being liked or not, so long as I’m entertaining.
If 32 year old women are unattractive, I ask if that means I only have months to go before I’m quivering unlovable Jell-O. (That post gave me the mental image of my waking up on my 32nd birthday and dissolving into a puddinglike goo.)
Luckily, I don’t tie my self-esteem to frothing Internet goofballs.
I have to say this again. You have to write about your experiences in the workplace. I think that your perspective is a great one. I wish that I had your gumption–as well as Freckled K’s. I didn’t start writing as a DC blogger per se and so I never got dragged into the arguments. I think that you’re absolutely right. The less people read of this tripe, the better.
Shannon – What bothers me about all this is when you leave a comment, it’s not the writer of the post who lashes out, but the sycophantic suck up readers – male and female. I can’t wait for some of these 22 year old girls to wake up one day and realize they formed their opinions on life by all the outside noise they subjected themselves to.
I think the little boys are lashing out to the whole Sex and the City / post Sex and the City crap. I can’t say I was a fan of that show because if you look at it critically, it did more damage for women than good. So what that those four whores sat around and dissected their relationships? That’s ALL they did. It was all about men for them. It’s all they talked about. And they went way above and beyond what I consider “normal” to get a guy. The heroine followed a guy to Paris. Shit, I wouldn’t follow a guy to the next block.
But all in all, men saw that show as somehow threatening to them. The male bloggers refer to it so often that I can only assume it really made its mark and only painted us into a corner more.
You are lucky to not tie your self-esteem to it. But, I know a lot of women who do – whether they admit it or not. And I know a lot of women, who, on reaching 30 and not finding the love of their life, feel bad about themselves. I know a lot of women who struggle with that last 10, 20, 50 lbs. Then they see what’s dished out for them in blogland and it makes them feel worse. I don’t want my girls to feel bad about themselves. I want them to feel great. That’s why I encourage people to just stop reading.
MA – Oh, it’s coming. I’m off to see that little trollup Sixes this weekend, then I’ll be back with the interview part two stuff. I wish I had a blog back at my old job. That would have been some fascinating stuff.
I’ve become a bit more withdrawn over the past few months. I’ve been writing less frequently, commenting less frequently, and reading less frequently. I reached a saturation point with a lot of things, and now I don’t even have an awareness of controversy unless someone points me in its direction.
That’s a much more comfortable place to be.
I too read K’s good-bye post and mourn the loss of her blog. But it makes complete sense. I’ve been spared nasty comments so far, but I know people who’ve had them.
People forget there are real people behind the words being written and that many blogs are outlets for people to vent insecurities and thoughts they cannot tell to anyone. All the insecure f**kers that feel like taking a stab at them or bashing them in their blogs are idiots. I, for one, am in your camp, Velvet. I don’t read them AT ALL.
The guys in the balcony are Statler and Waldorf. [No google was used in this comment.]
Stay feisty, Miss Velvet, and safe travels!
hmm, what can I say tomorrow to really piss them off? Oh! I know! I’m going to post that I wont fuck a girl unless I can see her collarbone through her skin, because thats a sign of a girl who is going to get fat if she doesnt already have a spare ounce of jiggle somewhere on her body! Then all the girls, good collarbones and bad, run in to defend themselves and the collarbones of women everywhere.When does it end?
Where does it end, indeed? It isn’t even writing.
As for Sixes (and you), I’d want you both in my corner. You’ll take anything on and face it down and “no”, not in that way.
I’ve seen less of 66 and many others (including myself). Between what life slams at you, and the garbage being posted out there, you think “why bother?” The other problem, and you’ve written about it, is that life gets so hectic (with bloggable things), but you’re just too busy to stop and write about it.
Then you get an email from a Hammer or a Velvet saying “Where ya been?” and you are just right back into the fray.
I do think we write for a reason. I’m still waiting for your work part two, to blast off my response (based on true fax), and I’m writing a piece today based on something Cuff wrote today on his Countersignature. That’s a plus in blogging. You can inspire each other, not conspire.
About the photo: what I think happened is that the photo got posted on one of the blogger happy hour hosts’ web site. A commenter on the insecure little boys site as well call the protagonist for expediencys sake linked to it and I think made disparaging comments about his appearance. The entire link was deleted by insecure little boy and the blogger happy hour host blacked out his face on the photo on his site. So the commenter who apparently has it in for insecure little boy sent the untouched photo to — lets call him the nemesis – who gleefully reposted it. And no I am not the commenter just an attentive lurker.
Now that I banged all that out I realize how much time I waste on his blog when I could be reading so many other blogs. Which gets me thinking, why? The answer, Ive realized, is the same revolting human impulse that causes people to rubber neck traffic accidents or watch torture porn. We are drawn to ugly despite our best efforts to be better than that. Theres an element of smugness in it too for me, Ive just now realized, because I get to think to myself as I read this drivel how happy I am not to be part of that world, to have healthy relationships and bonds with people I know are genuinely good and so on. But that is wrong too.
Hey Velvet, I’ll be Statler if you’ll be Waldorf. Thanks, Hammer!
I think that part of living in the world is looking at negativity, and trying to turn it into something positive. The woman-bashing blog led me to write my Masculinity Quiz, which I had more fun writing than anything else I’ve done.
In the end, you realize the haters have pretty pathetic little arsenals. When 90% of the comebacks are, “yeah, because you’re ugly,” no matter what I say, it’s more goofy than upsetting.
Not that everyone should be able to do battle or let everything roll off their backs. Heaven knows it’s hard sometimes. I just do what works for me.
Craigslist is the cesspool of humanity.
Kinda like an innernet Jerry Springer.
Its MUST-watch innernets!!!
I agree with I-66. I have really dropped off my reading/commenting/writing.
But I wouldn’t miss a good Velvet piece for the world, and this was a good one. A nice tribute to a great friend.
Saw velvet in the hallway and we talked about this whole perfect girl type blogger men are looking for and she recommend i post my response.
I absolutely adore women around 30. The combination of perfect style, sexual experience, non tight biteable skin, zero games, familiarity with 80’s movies and an affinity to young brown boys makes them the most attractive creatures ive ever seen.
I really cant wait to be 30 so i can take full advantage of these bombshells. These skinny 22 year old boring girls have nothing to hold on to and can only talk about their job.
As for sexual harassment us guys get it too, well maybe just me. Last week i got “oh theres a man…can you kill this cockroach”
You. Are. Spectacular. And a little bit scary. But, still, spectacular. And I love you, too – even if you are an old, fat cougar. Smooches, right back’atcha.
And I would totally do Hot Neighbor, were it not for that whole finger-in-the-ass-thing. Put him in a European turtleneck, and my resolve to abstain doubles.
I was going to answer about Statler and Waldorf, but Hammer beat me to it.
Every time I’m tempted to read one of those blogs, I do a tree pose and remind myself that I have nothing to gain from the rantings of a bunch of jobless uggos who live in their parents’ basements, picking their zits and ripping off Palahniuk and Ellis in an effort to make themselves feel better about the girls who rejected them, the hair that’s already receding, and the early onset erectile dysfunction they’ve doubtless been suffering from since college.
They were somewhat novel at first, but if you think about any of them for more than a second, you realize how worthless they are. Or, as Statler and Waldorf would say:
Statler: That was wonderful!
Statler: I loved it!
Waldorf: Oh, it was great!
Statler: Well. . .it was pretty good.
Waldorf: Well. . .it wasn’t bad.
Statler: Eh, there were parts of it that weren’t very good at all.
Waldorf: It coulda been a lot better.
Statler: I didn’t really like it.
Waldorf: It was pretty terrible.
Statler: It was bad!
Waldorf: It was awful!
Statler: Aw, it was TERRIBLE!
Waldorf: Get ’em away!
Statler: Hey BOO!
Giggling at what Jordan typed. Is this where I write, “How troo?”
Great tribute–I will definitely miss Freckled’s voice in the blogosphere, but I obviously understand what prompted the decision to bow out. Which she did quite gracefully, as I would expect.
Aside from you and a few amazing writers left in the DC blog scene, I pretty much don’t even bother to read non-food blogs anymore. I like writing and reading about grub–it’s always comforting, and it’ll never call you fat or old. 🙂
I’d like to 2nd Hot Neighbor’s statement, though I’d change 80’s movies to music, little Whitesnake and Def Leppard never hurt anymore. No need to rush to 30 though, not even half way through my 20’s yet…
I’d like to 2nd Hot Neighbor’s statement, though I’d change 80’s movies to music, little Whitesnake and Def Leppard never hurt anyone. No need to rush to 30 though, not even half way through my 20’s yet…
I never say those things, but I think number #2 all the time. Is that wrong? It might be wrong.
I66 – That’s actually how I am as well. I read a few things that might catch my eye, and I read my friends, but other than that, it usually takes a link sent my way for me to see something.
NSLW – It’s sadly not just limited to comments. It’s entire websites devoted to this kind of crap – some stuff more “offensive” than others. I put offensive in quotes because I find very little of it offensive, when taken in consideration of the IQ of the writer. It’s like being mad at a retard for crashing their car.
Cube – There were the “good old days” that’s for sure. But as with anything, things become poisoned by a few, over time.
Erika – I somewhat remember all that, but don’t read the blog in question at all to even know that it went on. I think someone told me. I just think it is sort of funny that people always accuse others of what they are most guilty. (I have a post on this in my drafts one day I’ll unleash.) But the guy who likes to point fingers at the single girl blogs is the one who most likely isn’t dating anyone significant. In lieu of having someone in his life, he just rips on others who are searching it out, and being vocal about it. All of it is really very sad. And the girls who get on and defend them? Even worse. Tables turn pretty quickly in blog-land. They’ll soon learn.
Shannon – I understand that need to want to jump in the ring and defend. Believe me, I do. No, really, believe me. I’ve been through more shit than I care to recount with this blog. Thankfully it’s all so low key now that I no longer have to do battle with idiots. However, you do realize, that if you take yourself out of the commenting game, you reduce the amount of conversation in the comments, and the less conversation there is, the less controversy, the less controversy, the less hits, the less posts, the less, the less, the less. Take yourself out of the game and reduce the amount of players and eventually something has to give. The choice is obviously, ultimately yours, but I do hope you realize you are fanning the flames of this.
Johnny DC – Aaah, my love Craigslist. That’s how I sold my Harley.
Tyler – Wow, I haven’t heard from you in so long. Hope you are well!
Hot Neighbor – You forgot to mention that you are 24. Twenty Four ladies and gentlemen! So we can’t “generalize” men based on age for nothin!
FreckledK – Wouldn’t “cougar” imply I seek out younger men? Hmm. Other than some exceptions, see: Sixes and Seven’s dating past, there are very few men below my age I would ever consider. Besides, I’m happily in a much better spot right now.
Ehh, fuck it. You’re right. I’m an old, fat cougar who hangs out at Cafe Citron dancing on bars in my Spandex outfits with my botoxed face, trying to pick up the likes of some DC Bloggers. Yeah. Cause THAT neighborhood is so full of class…
Jordan Baker – Occasionally I do pop by to see what the boys are up to, and it’s always the same thing. Pasta every night makes one plump, yanno?
BJ – That link goes to a picture of chicken. OMG. That’s hilarious. I thought we fixed that!
The Stoic – Aha, see girls? Another one who is 24 and so NOT like this crap that goes on in the Tucker Max wanna be kind of world.
Uncle Keith – You can think it. You can think anything you want. I’ve thought plenty about people I’ve worked with, but I never said it. Saying it is where you get in trouble!
where is the damn post about our weekend you TROLLOP!
Sixes – She posted it already. You’re just far away so you it hasn’t gotten to your internet yet.
Sometimes I start to feel bad that I don’t go to happy hours and I haven’t met other bloggers in real life, but then I read this sort of thing, and I relish my quasi-anonymity.
I have popped in on Freckled K in the past (usually via here or DC Blogs) and I have to say, it’s a shame that she’s giving up the blogging thing. People should be free to write or not write (or choose their subject matters) — or go to happy hours or not go to happy hours — and not have to worry about what other people have to say about them, via blog, or comments, or at happy hours or whatever. At its purest, blogging is a mode of self-expression, and the fact that people turn it into cliques and fights and whatnots is definitely a turnoff.
Well put, Velvet. I went to a women’s college and more often than not, male suitors always felt a need to ask why I’d want to go to a school without boys. My response? I have the rest of my life to put up with fuckwits like you so I figured I’d get a four year break while I could.
It’s a pity someone can be hurtful for no other reason than, well, to be hurtful.
Every right has an attendant responsibility. We should all have to be able to state and represent the responsibility before we are allowed to claim the right.
I’ve tried to make it into a bumper sticker so that the people who need to hear it can get in touch with it, not having much luck… not yet…