Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Deleted Comment: Guess you missed the compliments.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure if I could have stated my beliefs in a more conciliatory manner. I was not saying Wave runs around kicking puppies and smacking defenseless babies. I said what I said, and thankfully had the good sense to save my comment before I deleted it. I took it down for my own reasons.

I also requested that I be removed from the site as a collaborator. The blog owner did as I requested, and I am no longer a collaborator at Chicks and Dick per my own request.

My comment, in it's entirety, and completely unedited is below. You are welcome to leave comments, which will be moderated to prevent baseless insults being posted. As long as your tone remains civil, I will allow any comments to post.
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I don't have a problem with someone, anyone, saying I only want to review M/M romance, or F/F romance, or M/F romance... I do think though, that it behooves those folk to be clear, and specific. If you mean that you only review M/M romance where the only "on-screen" sex allowed is between cis (born biologically with the same genitalia as they identify with in regards to gender) then you should state that. Because otherwise you are saying, and saying very clearly that trans* men are not men. Though if your logic is followed to it's natural conclusion, you have to realize you are also saying that any cis man who has at some point been castrated or neutered no longer counts as a man.

I'm not saying you should change what you review.

Though perhaps, especially given the huge debacle last fall which included cis people asking some trans* people for the "geography of their genitalia" and hounding them as if simply being trans* were a crime which automatically gave others entre into the most private parts of their psyches, you can not claim to be ignorant of the issues at stake here.

I've visited your site many times, and seen that you exert a great deal of influence within the sector of the romance community which writes cis-gender gay romance. You've done a marvelous job of promoting those works, and every author who writes in that niche can only be grateful for what you have done.

Make no mistakes though. Refusing to update your definition of what you review there makes your site as culpable of oppression as the ones which claim to review "romance" and then refuse to review any gay romance. It's not bad to have a niche. It is reprehensible, however, to tout yourself or your site as a purveyor of quality M/M romance... unless you specify that you mean only CIS M/M romance. To do otherwise leaves your site standing on the backs of already vastly oppressed people, spouting rhetoric about how you are uplifting them.

20 comments:

  1. I think it's highly disingenuous of anyone who reads in the genre to claim to be unaware that carelessly chosen language is very hurtful to people within the community. It implies that you don't care enough to choose your words carefully, at best, and at worst that you don't believe certain segments of the community *deserve* the respect of appropriately chosen language.

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  2. *stands and applauds*

    Thank you for posting this Cherie. With how you are being presented, I'm glad you shared the "horrible horrible" comment that you're being ripped for while we can't see it.

    PS: It's quite possibly the best, clearest comment I saw in the entire ordeal.

    *hugs you tight*

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  3. I couldn't remember what your comment had said, but yes, reading it now, I totally see how horrible and how accusing you were towards Wave. #HEAVYsarcasm *headdesk*

    Thanks for reposting it so ppl to read and see.

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  4. Wait a second, I am confused. Where is the horrible, shrill, name-calling and bullying I've been hearing about? I didn't get to read this comment the first time it was posted, but it's pretty clear that it's been terribly misrepresented in the subsequent discussion.

    Very well said! Thank you for reposting.

    -

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  5. That's the horrible, awful, vile, hatred ridden comment?? Seriously?? I thought you must've called her names or something or like, gone off on a rant. But that's not the case at all. Just like me asking a question isn't a personal attack. Wow. If this is what passes for logic in some people's worlds, I'll stay in mine. :-)

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  6. Thank you for posting this. I can't for the life of me see where Wave is getting anybody was calling her names, which frustrates me even further in regard to this entire issue because it means she misrepresented the situation to her readers and sparked the whole so-called bullying vitriol based on lies.

    On top of that, it's yet another comment that specifically told her she had every right to review whatever she wanted, that it wasn't about changing her policy but about clarifying (and adding transparency to) the definitions since as they currently stand, they really do say transmales are not males, whether she has the capacity to see that logic or not.

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  7. Thanks for reposting. I liked it the first time. Still like it. :)

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  8. Thanks for sharing with us your thoughtful comment on the situation Cherie. It says beautifully and forthrightly what needed to be said.

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  9. Thanks very much for posting this as I missed it before you had to take it down. I read every single comment, every single reaction, every word said about this entire situation with an open mind, and did not see anything but attempts at civil discourse, requests for clarification about something that is very important to a growing segment of the population (which I happen to be close to), and a desire to get this hammered out civilly. The continual insistence by wave that she was being attacked, maligned, that certain people ('you know who you are' - was that a threat on her part in that last post?) were out to lynch her, well...I didn't see it. Not anywhere. And certainly not in your reprinted post here.

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  10. I've had to hold one comment in moderation, though it came out in support of me and was far from baseless. I felt that it stepped, only very slightly over the line into what could be easily perceived as being uncivil toward parties other than myself. I did state that I couldn't allow that. For everyone, if your comment does not post, you are welcome to either attempt to state your point without being insulting to anyone, or even have a go at me for not posting. I will most certainly allow you to state your feelings about that. I would prefer you not swear at me, but aside from that you are welcome to compare me to anyone you wish. Whether your comments are supportive of my previous comment or not... I stand by what I said at the beginning of this post. Be civil in your tone, and you can state any position you choose.

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  11. Thank you for re-posting this, Cherie. I didn't see it the first time and wondered what Wave had taken issue with.

    I do not see a problem with what you posted. Your points are very clearly made.

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  12. I hope I don't upset my friends too much with what I'm about to say next because I know a lot of feelings were stepped on, ON BOTH SIDES, and I don't want to step on anyone's myself. (Though I suspect I will, unintentionally. If that does occur, please know I am truly sorry and it is not intentional. Just talk to me. I'm willing to listen.)

    I'm not attacking or questioning anyone in specific, just stating how I perceived things after the fact. (I didn't see any of it until I got home from work that night.)


    I feel like the policy in question needed to be called into question and discussed, as was attempted.

    But I felt like--and by literal definition--Wave was ganged up on. That is not to say the opposing points were invalid. The points made were TOTALLY valid, and I AGREE with them completely. But if a person opposes something and a dozen others chime in with support in that opposition, of course the other party will immediately go on the defensive. What other outcome could anyone have expected after that?


    Some people were very careful to note that they were not requesting a change to the policy and that Wave has every right to run the site as desired, but they were asking for clarification and if Wave might be willing to change their definition of what they accept [to CIS M/M].

    But as the questions and reactions and tension piled up, it _felt_ like some were demanding a change to either the definition or the policy.

    Whether or not it was actually demanded, the perception of "demand" leads to the feeling of being bullied.

    I think most of the comments in opposition to the policy were reasonable, heart-felt, and well written out. I also felt that some comments were of a more attacking nature.

    I felt for Wave.

    I felt for my trans* friends who expressed the current policy slights their reality and who deserved to ask their questions, share their opinions, and be heard.

    I felt for both sides as I read through it all after the fact.

    I don't want my friends who are reading my comments now to think that I don't understand their anger, sorrow, and resentment. I truly do understand.

    But I also understand why Wave felt attacked, bullied, ganged up on.

    I KNOW that the intent was not to bully. But that was how it felt to me, and I wasn't in the middle of it.


    I'm also fairly certain that it didn't matter how reasonable the discussion actually was or otherwise could have been, Wave was eventually going to be upset with the number of people who directly called into question and/or opposed the policy. Even had there been no perception of attack at all, I still think Wave would have been upset and felt ganged up on.

    I think the only way in which this discussion could have been held to prevent it from blowing up the way it did was for it to have been held in private.

    Wave opened the door to the public forum (again) by writing the post. And while I am not surprised by the outcome, I am as saddened by it as everyone involved.

    (Please don't hate me for saying how I felt. Educate me if you feel I need it, but don't hate me.)

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  13. Thank you for posting this. Being familiar with your style, I can say I was somewhat taken aback by the accusations flung your way. Sure Cherie, didn't name call or get hateful...

    What you posted was thoughtful, tactful, and at its heart intended to educate not berate. There is such a thing as constructive criticism. All I can say in response is Yes, this.

    <3

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  14. Reading up on the definition of bullying here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullying

    I don't see how a group disagreeing with an individual can be even remotely constructed as bullying. There was no abuse, no physical, emotional or verbal. It's one of these words that get routinely mis-used now. The only person who has used threats was Wave herself.

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  15. Thank you, Cherie, for posting your comment here again!

    I didn't catch it on C&D but now that I've read it I'm like o.O over what has been said about you and this comment. I'm baffled.

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  16. I had hoped I was careful enough in saying it was a perception or a feeling, and not fact. My apologies for not saying it well enough, Aleks.

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  17. I did see your comment before you removed it, so was a little surprised (to put it midly) by Wave's response.
    I wish that it had all just stayed at the original post on Chicks & Dicks. I don't believe that Jeff's post on Wave's site did anyone any favours; nor did Wave's subsequent post.
    I fully intended not to read her last post as the whole mess had left me feeling saddened and angry, but in the end I chose to read it.
    I'm left hoping that it will end there, that Wave will move on - too many people have been hurt in all this and each new post stirs that up.
    There were some very eloquent and reasoned comments throughout all the posts. But I think the comments that will stay with me the longest were those made by Dani Alexander, who was hurt by it all and left questioning whether he really counted as a man.

    Adara - you've simply expressed your opinion of it all. I'm certainly not going to hate someone just because we have different opinions. Hugs (because I get the feeling you need some).

    Cherie - I hope this isn't stepping over the line; I can re-word it if it is (after some sleep!)

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  18. The online community of those of us who read these GLBTQ romances is a bit of a microcosm, isn't it? I was catching up after a bit of a hiatus from LJ, and remembered/found this, dating back to mid-November: http://docbrite.livejournal.com/805543.html

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What's your take?