man remember when I used to read shakesville every day for like five years and how it was the first place I ever found support talking about being a rape survivor until Melissa called me a rape troll and banned me for agreeing with another poster who said that her uncritical praise of a rapist was wrong
Look at how surprised I am that Melissa McEwan is telling British people how to feel about Margaret Thatcher’s death because she’s “married to a Scot.”
Look at all that surprise.
I spent last night mostly sleepless dealing with my issues of depression, anxiety and insomnia all because of being rather publicly lambasted when I posted in good faith on Shakesville (which I have rarely done. I don’t usually read the clique-ish comments at all). I’m done. I’ve removed it from my RSS feed and my twitter. I couldn’t sleep because, as a decent person and a feminist, I took it to heart when Melissa called me out on things I hadn’t seen in my post when I wrote it. Do I think her criticism has some validity? Yes. But the sleep I lost and the anxiety triggered - which I’m sure she wouldn’t give a shit about if I told her - made me realize that this is not a person I want to bother reading. I wish I could get last night of my life back. I feel her tone was pretty harsh and I’m afraid to post anything more than the apology I posted as soon as I saw her comment.
“I second ElvisVF101 above. The few photos I’ve seen of Haiti or Cuba were heartbreaking. These people had so little before Sandy and have even less now. I live in NYC and when I hear people in the suburbs where I work [complain] (I had originally, unthinkingly, used “bitch” here) about the power outage, I think, “Imagine if you lived in Haiti! STFU!”
Of course, there are plenty of poor people here in NY who are in terrible shape. I’m getting less and less able to tolerate the privileged people here in my library who are upset they can’t charge their smartphone at home. (They can come to the library to do it though!) I’m lucky, the effect of Sandy on my life is a mere annoyance. Many others are experiencing devastation.”
I wasn’t referring to everyone who has come into my library to charge their devices since the outages caused by Sandy, just the few who behave like privileged assholes. And while I can see that invisible disabilities might be there, they also may just be privileged assholes. Plus, I have invisible mental health issues myself. And she triggered them. And now that I have better perspective on the situation I’m pissed. Her reply, which felt like a slap in the face, was:
“Misogynist slurs are a violation of the commenting policy, even if they are (mis)used as synonyms for complain.
I will also note that it a privilege to believe that a lack of power and inability to charge a mobile phone at home is not a very serious problem for some people. People with disabilities and/or chronic illness — which are not always obvious; that’s why the term invisible disability exists — that make both traveling just to charge phones and risking not having a usable phone in an emergency are more numerous than you evidently believe.
Not everyone has (or can afford) a landline. Some people with a landline, like myself, lose it when they lose power, because they are digital lines.
And someone with an invisible disability who, per your observation, can get to the library, might have to use up an inordinate number of spoons to do it.
I will ask you to be more considerate of the people with invisible disabilities for whom this should also be a safe space, including me.”
In my years of being a feminist and reading feminist blogs, I honestly can’t recall people getting up in arms over the colloquial usage of “bitch” to mean “complain.” I’ve seen “lame” called out as being ableist, and while I’m trying to avoid using that word, I can’t help but think that the original usage of “lame” is far out of disuse in our language. I don’t think I’ve ever used lame to describe someone with a physical disability in my 40 years on this earth.
I was trying to comment on how terrible I think it is that the islands affected by Sandy aren’t getting more coverage, and the privilege I see during my workday, but apparently that makes me an ableist asshole. I’m going to take myself and my invisible disabilities and go read feminist blogs that aren’t so hypersensitive and can provide more intelligent analysis than calling everything “garbage” and using the word “fart” a lot.
I once got scolded for rearranging a “garbage nightmare” politician’s name (Mitch Daniels became Ditch Maniels!). Apparently, my flippant comment was made in bad faith, was triggering for people that had been bullied or teased as children, and was completely inappropriate.
I opted to never comment again after that. I wasn’t sure what the limit would be.
Anonymous asked: Just thanking you for this tumblr. I have a blog post about Shakesville only being a safe space for the blogmistress (ick) and I noticed people are getting to it by searching "shakesville drama" and "shakesville cult. " I Googled same and found so much! Glad to know I am not alone among feminists in thinking Liss is crazy and abusive. When I told her not to call her sick body garbage, because as a cancer patient I find that triggering, I was told I am a piece a shit and "deeply silencing."
I’m so glad you and other shakesville refugees were able to use the blog as a resource. That was the goal all along. When I was there, it was so disturbing to see already vulnerable people being subjected to emotional abuse by Melissa. I think she’s reined it in a bit since she’s been forced to confront feedback (I know for a fact that she checks this blog), which is a secondary benefit.
Oh, and sorry to everyone for being so slow to publish submissions and respond to questions. I’ve been especially busy with work, school, family and friends, and I’ve only been able to check the blog periodically.
For a place which is all about safety, I never feel safe posting there and end up (Trigger Warning) all my posts over EVERYTHING, and that’s when they allow anybody to post, which, due to whatever issues with Disqus has been way less!
I am so grateful I found this! I have had a growing anger towards shakesville for a long time. It was one of the first feminist blogs I read and it really opened up a lot of things for me. However, now I feel like I can never disagree. I am a radical (anarcha-feminist to be exact) and so I have my own perspective on things. I have been well aware that if I post my opinions, I will get shut down real fast. Most recently on the isralie gaza open thread.
Melissa: A couple of notes: We have managed to have thought-provoking and civil threads in this space on previous skirmishes between Israel and Hamas, and I trust that can happen again. If the thread gets ugly, it will just be closed. Please comment thoughtfully—and bear in mind that neither Israelis nor Palestinians are monolithic groups; among Israelis are people who agree with the Netanyahu administration’s actions and people who condemn those actions; among Palestinians are people who agree with Hamas’ leadership’s actions and people who condemn those actions. There is not consensus among diaspora populations, either.
I don’t have much to say, except this: My position remains, as it has always been, one of frustration with leaders and sympathy for all involved. It’s not that I don’t care (or have an opinion on) who’s intrinsically got the more principled position; it’s that sometimes, at a certain point, being right becomes less important than doing the right thing.
I have a really hard time reading this rhetoric. Just like we explain to right wingers that pro-choice and pro-life are not two sides of the same coin, neither is the violence between Israel and Palestine. Israel is an occupying force, invading lands that are not their. They are imprisoning and bombing civilians. They are restricting food and resources into occupied territories. The narrative the mainstream media is creating is just not true. I cannot condemn an oppressed group for resisting, I cannot condemn Palestine violence because I have no idea to live the world that is their reality.
I received a submission that requested to remain anonymous, so I’ve removed all the identifying elements of her story. I feel like it fits a pattern that is familiar to most of us - an earnest, polite comment from a regular reader followed by bad faith assumptions and hateful bullying.
Hello, please feel free to tell about this or comment on it, but I don’t feel up to telling about it very well or very coherently, and I want to stay anonymous. Besides, I still read Shakesville and believe it or not, I’m a little bit afraid and intimidated over there. I don’t know regular readers over there to know that I’m telling you this. If I sound too paranoid, well…
[Identifying elements of the story redacted.]
I know that I’m fighting too hard for approval and to make myself understood, but by this time I was crying like a baby and on the edge of a panic attack.
Anyway, thanks for this tumblr. Lately I was thinking that Melissa was not always coherent and that the blog wasn’t as good as it used to be. I can see now that I wasn’t imagining things.
This woman was left crying and on the verge of a panic attack all because she commented that she wished to help improve the lives of children in her community. Her story is why I have this tumblr. Shakesville tries to be a beacon for vulnerable people in need of a safe space, but they ultimately manipulate, bully and abuse those very members. They’re despicable.