So, here’s the thing: Yesterday, we put up a guest post. A seriously fucking amazing guest post! Which sparked a seriously fucking amazing discussion! And yet, in that seriously fucking amazing discussion, there were sadly, some people who chose to act a fool — like, here’s a hint: When we’re talking about sexism, maybe don’t pitch in with the “but NOT ALL DUDES ARE LIKE THAAAAAAAAAT” defense — and get themselves deleted.
These people were very angry! They disliked the CENSORSHIP! And one of them went so far as to say that she would Never! Read! Tiger Beatdown! AGAIN!
Well, since she is never reading the blog again (NEVERRRRRR), she probably will not read this little meta-post of mine. But some of you might! And I think it is time to explain some things to you.
People who guest post and contribute to Tiger Beatdown ARE DOING TIGER BEATDOWN A FAVOR. They are making it better. They are making my blog less narcissistic and All About Me, allowing me to represent a wider variety of human experience. They are providing more perspectives, and donating their expertise on topics that fit into the general “media, pop culture, and marginalization” focus of the blog. Typically, I ask them to guest post because they know about topics that I don’t. So, they are enriching both the variety of the coverage and the variety of perspectives and voices available on this site. They are helping me to model what I consider to be the only feminism worth feministing: One based on human community, where all sorts of people — NOT just young, white, abled, cis, creative-class ladies, such as myself — get together and talk about the shit that matters, conveying the idea that humanity is commonly shared, and not to be denied to anyone for any reason. Tiger Beatdown can’t just TALK about that feminism (using, uh, Liz Lemon as an example of how not to do it? I AM A SERIOUS THEORIST, OKAY; I TALK ABOUT SERIOUS TOPICS); we have to DO it. The shape and content of the blog itself has to reflect it.
So, there’s one point. And the other one is: People who guest post and contribute to Tiger Beatdown are doing ME, PERSONALLY a favor. This lady, right here. Me. They are allowing me to work on the Giant Mystery Project, and to pitch other publications, and to write for those other publications, and to meet my deadlines, and to do a lot of things that I simply can’t do otherwise. If I am posting lengthy essays (and they’re ALL lengthy essays) to Tiger Beatdown every day, AND single-handedly screening and answering all of the e-mails sent to Tiger Beatdown (there are a lot of them! And I seriously CAN’T answer them all, at this point, but I do answer a fairly large portion and feel guilty about the ones I don’t answer, and then the people I actually care about, who are not writing to Tiger Beatdown but to Sady, are like, “where is my e-mail from you Sady? Also, you didn’t come to my party/show/whatever. And also, I hate you.” There was seriously a time when my mother came into town to visit me, and I didn’t know she was coming, or that she was here, for twenty-four hours, because I saw all the Tiger Beatdown e-mails, and my mom’s e-mails, and I was like, “Mom’s e-mails can wait!”) AND single-handedly going through each and every one of the comments that this site gets, which at this point routinely number from thirty to over one hundred per day, AND marking/deleting the spam AND deleting the overtly hostile ones before they get published AND moderating the ones that do get published, well: I literally cannot do anything else. Nothing. I can’t clean the house, make dinner, sleep, go out with you this weekend, have other jobs. Ido Tiger Beatdown, and that is what I do, and I do nothing else, and everything and everyone else in my life suffers. For example: I used to live with someone who HATED it when I smoked cigarettes in the house. And this person was like, “for fuck’s sake, just smoke outside.” And I was like, “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH BLOG-ADMINISTRATING TIME I WOULD LOSE IF I PUT ON MY COAT AND WALKED DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS?? Not to mention the FLAGRANT TIME-WASTE of SMOKING WITHOUT DOING ANYTHING ELSE AT THE SAME TIME, Jesus.” (You: “Quit smoking, Sady!” Me: “Right. Because you want me to be MORE irritable. That’s a good idea!”) This isn’t complaining: It’s my fault for trying to do everything myself, and for not realizing how MUCH of everything there could be.
So, yeah: I bring on guest posters, and contributors, and I love them. So, so much. Which is why it is a continual source of frustration to me that, on nearly every guest post we do, nearly every time someone guest-posts on TBD for the first time, the comments get nasty and disrespectful. It happened to Garland. It happened, I do believe, to C.L. It happened to B. Michael (and oh, did it EVER happen to B. Michael — and I got e-mails, actual e-mails, about how I had sold out by publishing a man). And it happened, despite the OBVIOUS FABULOUSNESS OF HER POST, despite the fact that she has BEEN IN THE FEMINIST BLOGGING BUSINESS, AND WORKING ON A POPULAR FEMINIST BLOG, for FAR LONGER THAN I HAVE, to Silvana.
Let me explain something to you: I personally choose every guest poster or contributor on this site. I personally edit their pieces. Sometimes, I edit their pieces really hard: Telling them each and every one of the ways that someone could, potentially, dismantle or derail their argument, and how to make it better, telling them completely honestly what flaws I can perceive in their posts, and asking them to flesh out their arguments if I personally find them unconvincing. B. Michael’s latest piece had about a thousand words cut, and the headline changed, and it was held in the queue until I’d personally looked into and read the people and blogs he was talking about, and one of his arguments (about the whole “no homo” thing of engaging in homoerotic behavior for awesome straight-dude kicks) was more or less eliminated, because, I told him, he was coming hard at a specific writer, and two specific blogs, and if someone from either of those blogs came hard at us (and someone did) we needed to be able to defend every point in the post based on specific textual examples, and to be able to defend ourselves from charges of unfair ad hominem (and we could). I don’t do this to make their lives harder; I don’t do it because I’m a control freak; I do it because I care about the people who write for me, and want them to do well and to have a pleasant blogging experience, and if someone comes after them, I want to be able to defend them. But, in case you are missing the point, the point is this: By the time something shows up on Tiger Beatdown, I have personally required it to be something of which I like and approve. I have put substantial work into it my very own self.
So, considering that these people are doing my blog a favor, and doing me a HUGE favor, and considering the fact that I consider publishing something on Tiger Beatdown to be, in effect, a statement along the lines of “I, Sady Doyle, personally like and approve this blog post,” it drives me UP THE FUCKING WALL when people start pulling shit in the comment section. And they always do.
I am hard on people when they disrespect me in my own posts. You may have noticed! But I am WAY, WAY HARDER ON PEOPLE when they disrespect my guest posters. There are bans; there are deletions; there are people getting smacked the fuck down. The comment section is moderated more closely, and with more of an eye for disrespect, than it is on my own posts. This is because I know I’m in charge here, and if people have a bad time because they blogged with Tiger Beatdown, it’s my fault. And it’s also because I think a favor deserves a favor. And it’s also because I value loyalty and compassion more than just about anything, and one of the ways I tell you that I like and appreciate you is to GET INTO IT with people who are mean to you. Seriously: If I start fighting your fights, you can tell that I want to be your friend. And if you can’t handle this, if you can’t deal with the fact that you’re not allowed to disrespect people who are not Sady on Sady’s blog, well? Maybe you should just Never! Read! Tiger Beatdown! EVER AGAIN! Because none of that is going to change.