The joys of blogging

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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68 Responses

  1. Mike Schilling says:

    You were already a communist and an anarchist/fascist. What will you be tomorrow?Report

  2. Patrick Cahalan says:

    More evidence for this hypothesis.Report

  3. Patrick Cahalan says:

    > That’s the real problem behind Mansplaining,
    > and all the rest of it: We live in a culture where
    > men are taught that, if they want women’s
    > time and attention, they are entitled to it.

    I’ll agree with a superset of this statement: men are taught that if they want attention, they’re entitled to it.

    I’ll agree with a sick but true variant on this one, too… we live in a culture where women are taught that if they want time and attention, they need to be attractive.

    > Whatever it is, it’s a guy insisting that he’s
    > entitled to a form of attention a woman
    > doesn’t want to give him, and lashing out
    > at the woman for not giving it.

    I think this is hugely uncharitable and in light of your unsolicited apology, actually darkly funny. I wonder if she’ll double-down on the double-down.Report

    • We tell ourselves comforting stories about other peoples motivations, and cram whatever we can into our narrative about the world and one another. If the shoe doesn’t fit, we make it fit.Report

      • Brett in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        I just finished that post of hers, and it was terrible. A godawful definition of “Mansplaining” that basically came down to “How dare you criticize my knowledge of the series and question my motives in criticizing it when I cast personal aspersions about the author and fans, Sexist!”, along with a healthy dose of hypocrisy* and a segue into the Standard Angry Rant at the end. What a bunch of garbage.

        * I found it especially amusing that she went on a tear about this:

        The ad hominems and claims of psychic insight into my wants and needs. (“What Sady wants is [SOMETHING I JUST MADE UP THAT IS STUPID.]” Apparently, Professor Feminism read my diary, where I expressed all kinds of secret and forbidden desires;

        This after accusing fans of the series of being secret sickos who get off on a medievalesque story and its negative aspects.Report

  4. Michael Drew says:

    I become sad for this person at a fairly deep level when I try to read her writing.Report

  5. Chris says:

    OK, at least I feel more comfortable in my initial impression that Doyle is basically an untalented derivative of a fairly rich tradition of snarky feminist cultural critique in the blogosphere. That was awful, and in the end, didn’t say very much, for all it’s 3500+ words. But I’m sure she feels better about herself now.Report

  6. Chris says:

    By the way, “critique by restating your opponent’s position in poorly educated teenager on the internet speak” is an artform, and one that Doyle hasn’t mastered.Report

  7. North says:

    I actually feel miffed at you E.D. for linking to this drivel she is grinding out; I actually read all of it! For shame sir, this is clearly a case of bad directions. It’s a good thing I’m mightily taken by your tophat otter or I’d give you such a scolding.

    As for the Sady, I keep having to remind myself she’s not a caricature. Why are you paying attention to this hack?Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to North says:

      This otter avatar is coming in very handy.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to North says:

      Why are you paying attention to this hack?

      She’s a hack? What does that even mean? Cmon North, you usually think more clearly than you’re doing now.

      She has her views, she’s written about them, she’s now explained them. People can disagree, but I think holding her to a standard that she doesn’t accept isn’t a very helpful criticism here.Report

      • North in reply to Stillwater says:

        Stillwater, I assure you the term isn’t being flung thoughtlessly by me. That I consider her hackish is in no way a reflection of her views which I disagree with but rather with her ability to write thoughtfully and coherently and more importantly the use to which she puts that ability.

        Hacks technically were writers paid to produce large quantities of poor quality writing. I will concede that hack may not fit her precisely since as far as I’m aware no one is paying her to write but two out of three is pretty close.

        I care quite deeply about feminism and it makes me genuinely aggrieved to see her wrapping herself in the banner and then rolling about in the muck with it the way she is. As I’ve noted before she reads as if her posts were being written by a hostile misogynist caricaturing feminist writing.Report

        • wardsmith in reply to North says:

          @North, see my post here and read that link. In point of fact she may well be caricaturing Liz Lemonist (see article).

          Now I’m curious if she actually makes any money off that blog or if it’s some kind of labor of love.Report

  8. Stillwater says:

    Well, I guess my comment last thread was right after all, eh?

    The difficulty for you now, EDK, is that there is nothing you can do or say, except complete, abject surrender, that will appease your detractors.

    Oh yeah. Even abject surrender won’t help. It’s too far gone.Report

    • E.D. Kain in reply to Stillwater says:

      Oh I have no interest in pursuing this further or surrendering. I’ve said my piece. I’ve pointed to others saying their piece. I have earned a very neat super villain title. My work is done.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        Oh I have no interest in pursuing this further or surrendering.

        Take some solace in the eternal wisdom of Morrissey: ‘we can laugh about it now, but at the time it was terrible.’

        Laughter may be all that’s left.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Stillwater says:

      Put another way, there is is only quadrupling, 8tupling, 16ling, etc. down on her way forward at this point now, no matter what that entails. There is no agreement that this was all silly. The word apology has no reason to even be thought when it comes to her intentions There’s really nothing to do but just let it drop and pretend it never happened; in any case that’s my advice to EDK. No one paying attention will think any less of him for what’s gone down thus far. But going forward (as North said), he would look like – and be! – a fool to engage further.Report

      • E.D. Kain in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I like writing about fantasy because it’s interesting to me, because I think it has something to say about the real world, because I’m a bit of an escapist, etc. I like this genre. I have no desire to keep down this very unpleasant path. Politics are ugly business. Good books are a sanctuary.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Well. That didn’t work.

    *NOW* what do we do to get more female commenters?Report

  10. JosephFM says:

    Geez. I warned ya’ll not to feed the trolls…Report

  11. By favorite attack on E.D. is “wishy-washy pussy”:

    Edit: We have a rule against linking to that site from this blog, Christopher…sorry. (EDK)Report

  12. ted whalen says:

    I was already confused as to what all the hubbub was about, but now that I’ve had it femsplained to me, it’s a lot less clear.Report

  13. Don Zeko says:

    Say what you will about the merits of Sady Doyle’s argument, but at least she states up front that a man explaining to a woman why he disagrees with something she said counts as “mansplaining” and is unacceptable on her blog. That’s honesty for you.Report

    • Brett in reply to Don Zeko says:

      Exactly. She took hundreds of words to get to the basic point that she found Erik questioning her interpretation of the events in the books as “Mansplaining” and patronizing.

      Since she doesn’t seem to have any qualms about casting aspersions on the personal character of Erik, GRRM, or the latter’s fans, why not return the favor? I think she’s ludicrously thin-skinned and verbose, and her criticism of the series only reflects her ignorance of it.Report

  14. MFarmer says:

    I’ll say this for the woman — she has a lot to communicate — far more than I could read, actually. Her style is cutely dismissive; however, it has the counter-effect of being weak rather than strong. The cutesy part appears to be an acknowledgement that her fans adore her above-it-all power-ride and also an admission that she doesn’t have the capacity for serious thinking — more fan-lust than a tough intellect. Constant affirmation is fun, but dealing with real opposition is, like, icky and stuff.Report

  15. wardsmith says:

    This interview was telling in lots of ways. I was also curious how she looked, given that she writes about random strangers with Rolls Royces rushing up to her to have conversations. Given it is only the Washington City Paper (whatever that is) and not the Atlantic, I think you can readily see the depth of her intellect in the interview.Report

  16. Tom Van Dyke says:

    I think she’s funny. You know, for a feminist, and all.


    She should be a contributor here at the League of Gentlepersons. I don’t see any difference in her politics or approach to dissent than some or many of the denizens hereabouts.

    Plus, she’s funny.Report

  17. Justin Charity says:

    Oh, look: someone being gratuitous on the internet.Report

  18. A Teacher says:

    I’m not sure what these thoughts add to the conversation but here goes:

    I stumbled, completely randomly, onto Burt Litko’s blog about a year ago. Since he’s been added to the League I’ve book marked the League’s main page for regular reading. I will continue to do so after this “dust up”.

    I have also bookmarked Alyssa’s blog, not for her targeting of someone else, but because, well, I like her analysis of fantasy fiction. I also think her perspectives on modern feminism will be good to read.

    As to the other blog? I read two of her entries and honestly I don’t get what she’s blogging about except to hear herself type. No desire to go there again.


    Oh and I’d shamelessly link my blog now but, well, I don’t keep one anymore.Report

  19. Ryan B says:

    Well, I, for one, hope we’ve all learned a lesson here.Report

  20. Rufus F. says:

    Okay, well, mansplaining is definitely a thing. My wife gets it from time to time in her practice. It’s usually these sort of alpha male silverback middle age dudes whose kids have just begun therapy and they lecture her about how she should conduct her sessions regardless of the fact that they have absolutely no training and she’s got three or four degrees in the field. The attitude is that she’s a dumb girl and they’re impatient with her for questioning their expertise. Inevitably, the kid turns out to be in therapy because Dad’s an overbearing blowhard.

    It’s not really the same thing as taking a blog post as opening up a conversation and trying to offer your opinion with points to back up that opinion. I can see where maybe it would come off that way, since you’re claiming some expertise into fantasy, but you’re also assuming she’s able to back up her claims, and really this overly broad use of the term mansplaining just gives the impression that she’s threatened by a male disagreeing with her.Report