I Get Letters

I must admit to being taken aback just a skosh by your banning me from Shakesville. In today's internet format of open discussion, such actions seem to run contradictory to reasoned debate. Yes I broke the cardinal rule of your site, which seems to be "Do not under any circumstances disagree or attempt to disagree with the Commander In Chief of this site." I say this not necessarily out of any other impulse than to acknowledge a breach of decorum. In truth I loathe most of your ideology. Such loathing isn't bred out of misogyny, though as a white male who lives an upper-class lifestyle I admit misogyny likely comes with the territory. No, my loathing of your site is born from contempt for the sanctimonious manner in which you post and attempt to defend such.
Etc. An excerpt from another long-winded email from an aggrieved troll who's pissed that there's one space on the entirety of the internetz where he's not allowed to be a misogynistic fuckneck.

The argument goes, and I've heard it a million times before, that disallowing unfettered free speech lessens the quality of debate. This? Is not true. And it's why there are amazingly clever, insightful, vibrant, hilarious, and often contentious (the echo chamber bit is really such bullshit) threads at Shakesville, and almost nothing but flamewars fueled by the misspelled, hate-filled, garbled rantings of the tragically stupid in "free speech zones" like the comments section of YouTube.

This space is an experiment that could very well have started with the question: What if people who self-selected out of most internet spaces because of alienating bigotry got together and had a conversation free from that marginalizing rubbish?

And I find rather hilarious the indignation it's caused among those who find no harbor for the bullying and silencing they're accustomed to being able to do with impunity.

Further yet is the deeply amusing argument that my denying their "right" to engage in bulling and silencing makes me the enemy of free speech, with seemingly not a hint of awareness of the irony that they're demanding the ability to bully and silence other people under the auspices of "free speech." They're arguing for carte blance to quiet the voices they don't like, but mad at me for doing the same.

At least I'm honest about it.

And I daresay my reasons are slightly more lofty, given that I want to make a space for voices that frequently aren't heard in the public square, which one could quite reasonably argue actually expands free speech, not limits it, given that there is no end to the number of spaces where the sundry bigotries that silence us elsewhere can be expressed.

This isn't a public square. It's my space, into which I have invited anyone who'd like to be a decent guest.

Being a decent guest means: No sexism, no racism, no homophobia, no transphobia, no disablism, no sizism, no ageism, no bigotry against anyone for intrinsic characteristics, no bigotry against anyone for choices/behaviors/traits that don't affect anyone else, no rape jokes, no rape apologia, no threats, no trolling, no pointless belligerence, and no ignoring the mods when they warn you or ask you to stay on topic. Do be aware of your privilege, and, in moments of failure, remain open to criticisms and suggestions, think twice before responding defensively, and apologize when you fuck up. No one is expected to be perfect; everyone is expected to be willing to self-examine and learn. Basically, don't be a goddamn jerk, and we'll get along just fine.

You can even disagree with that policy. The style and rules here are not to everyone's liking. That's okay. Disagree with the policy all you like; just respect it while you're here.

If you can't manage that, you don't belong here any more than someone who'd pee on my carpet would belong in my house. It's that simple.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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