August 21st, 2017
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
posted by [personal profile] wildeabandon at 09:17am on 21/08/2017
I did not sleep especially well on Sunday night, and woke up with an explanation for why I’d been so sleepy during the day in the form of an unpleasantly sore throat. I threw painkillers at it until it subsided and decided that I would give up on any silly ideas about morning runs until I was feeling back to 100%.

By the time I woke up properly and we’d eaten breakfast, Ramesh realised that he was also feeling quite under the weather, and decided to treat it with spending a while longer in bed, so I set off into town alone to spend some time in the red light district. Naturally, I spent that time looking at churches. Why, what else did you expect? First I went round the Oude Kerk, which was originally a Catholic cathedral, but became protestant during the reformation. There was a very good audio guide, which managed to personalise the experience without being twee. It had been left very austere by the iconoclasm, but in recent years has been used as a space for new art, sacred and secular. Afterwards I went on to Our Lord in the Attic, a house church which has been reconstructed to be very similar to how it was in the seventeenth century. Catholicism at that point was not exactly tolerated, but the authorities would turn a blind eye if people weren’t too blatant about it, and despite looking like a normal house from the outside it was impressively spacious and opulent inside.

After an ecclesiastical morning I went and had lunch with [personal profile] ewan (because what foreign holiday would be complete without running into someone who lives down the road and just happens to be visiting the same city). We met at the Foodhallen, which had a good range of choices, including several for the vegan. After lunch I gave Ramesh a call to see if he was feeling up to coming out, but as he wasn’t I went for another attraction he was less interested in - the Zoo! I hadn’t been to the Zoo for about 25 years or so, and wasn’t expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. There was a panther who was very stealthy, sea-lions who were very loud and playful, lions who were very sleepy, a gorilla and a capybara who were both completely uninterested and much smaller and much larger than I expected respectively.

By the time I got back to the hotel Ramesh had rested sufficiently and we went out looking for dinner. We had foolishly assumed that on a Monday evening we’d probably be able to just walk into somewhere, but after the first three places we tried were fully booked, didn’t have any veggie options, and fully booked we decided to go back to the sushi place we’d liked on Saturday, and make a couple of bookings in the places that were popular enough to be fully booked.
August 17th, 2017
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ludy at 09:43pm on 17/08/2017
I have a new laptop (huge thanks to the wonderful [personal profile] oilrig for sorting it after my old emergency one stopped usefully working (which was somehow more annoying than the previous one actually stopping working because it wasn't taunting me by seeming like it should be usable). So there will prolly be more posts that need a keyboard and/or dictation software here soon.
But not today because i misjudged how far along in my convalesce i actually am and tried to do too much and need to go splat now...
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
August 16th, 2017
rhialto: Me under a waterfall (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rhialto at 06:43pm on 16/08/2017
Finally I publicly moved to Berlin! With 164 km/h down the Autobahn. Yes, we were reasonably sticking to all speed limits, where they existed.
I have actually lived in Berlin since late last year (I moved in with my girlfriend), while most of my things were still staying in Nijmegen. I did it that way as a plan B in case things went horribly wrong and I wanted to return. In Germany the probation period in new jobs tends to be 6 months, and you can easily be fired in that period, for instance.
I didn't mention this before in public, because of the principle that you should not announce to the Internet that your belongings are unguarded and ripe for the picking.
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
wildeabandon: A glass of wine with text "Moderation is a fatal thing.  Nothing succeeds like excess." (excess)
posted by [personal profile] wildeabandon at 09:15am on 16/08/2017
Last night [personal profile] borusa and I went for dinner at Counter Culture in Clapham. It was bloody brilliant. We sat outside, overlooking the common and enjoying the summer night air.

The restaurant has a short menu of small plates, and the waiter said that for two people they recommended one of everything, which was exactly what we'd just decided on. As it turned out, the combination of the quality of the food and the fact that we're both quite hearty eaters meant that we ordered seconds of some of them, and there wasn't a single dish that wasn't delicious. We were especially pleased by the plate of salami, which were lovely and piquante and aromatic, the parmasan and chive gnocchi, which somehow managed to be both rich and comforting and light and summery at the same time, and the pork cheeks with smoked aubergine and barbequed pickled onions, which was expertly conceived and balanced. We were also extremely taken with the cheese course, which was a soft goat's cheese, not too pungent, not too mild, served with slices of peach, firm but not so underripe as to be sharp.

Given the short menu, it probably wouldn't be the greatest dining experience for veg*ns, or people with other major dietary restrictions, but if you're mostly omnivorous, I can't recommend it enough. Dinner for two hungry people, including service and drinks (three beers and two soft drinks, but they also offer BYO at £10/bottle corkage) came in at a very reasonable £115. Also, unlike so many of these new small restaurants, they take bookings, so no annoying queuing.
August 15th, 2017
skibbley: Grant wearing a straw hat (Default)
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ludy at 01:03pm on 15/08/2017
This was an unusual BiCon for me - I was mostly floomping because of teh ill and had very limited spoons to do BiConic things. But I made it there, managed to do a bit and very importantly didn't require medical attention!

Sessions run:
None.
I had felt bad about missing the sessions deadline but it turned out to be a good thing considering my health.
I did (kind of) assist with a couple of workshops - taking photos during the peripatetic Cover Bis and helping with the set up of Just A Bisexual Minute while [personal profile] softfruit stole participants from another workshop!

Sessions attended:

Communication Games (mostly making paper planes), Dreamwidth (yay!), The Activist Toolshed (an excellent workshop but I was feeling pretty passive!), the aforementioned homeless Cover Bi's (we got thrown out of our room by another, more popular workshop and then found the suggested replacement rooms were also in use so we ended up in doing it in the middle of the field!) and Just a Bisexual Minute

Sleep achieved:
A lot. My body didn't give me any choice about that. But it was at rather random times. Being in a Family-friendly flat meant some early awakenings!
I was impressed by the accommodation and by the beds - they weren't perfect, specially if you are used to fancy mattresses but they were some of the best beds we've had at a BiCon. And the sheets were a huge improvement on last year's horrors!

People snogged:
None. Eww! Spit is icky

People I did Rude Things with:
None. It just wouldn't have been physically possible even if I had had offers!

People I would have liked to do more sex-type things with but didn't:
Several.
What I would also have liked - and would have been potentially more capable of was a bit of snuggling but the people I would have liked to do that with were either busy or just not interested...

Hugs achieved:
Quite a lot. Which were lovely.
I'm kind of skittish about hugs - sometimes I just can't cope with physical contact and sometimes I really crave deep physical pressure from known/safe humans. If you ever give me a hug and I say something along the lines if "you smell like you" that is one of the highest compliments I can pay you because it means that sensorily you feel like home to me.
Several of the Smalls in our flat eventually warmed up to this strange grown-up-shaped-but-autistically-childlike person with freaky glasses and started asking me for hugs as the Con went on which was lovely (particularly as teh ill has meant I haven't had much time with our Smalls lately)

Songs danced to:
None. I didn't have the spoons. I was particularly sad to miss the children's disco because I do love not-to-loud cheesy pop...

Parties attended:
None.
I didn't actually hear of any (before they happened) which I hope was due to people being tactful about my spoonage rather than not wanting me around!

Games played:
None.
But I did get given the Patchwork game as a birthday present and look forward to playing that somewhen. I'm assured it is ludy-proof (most games that BiCon people love remind me of the exercises an Ed Psych inflicts on you to diagnose SpLD rather than something that you'd want to do for fun!)

Strange food and drinks consumed when offered to me:
I mostly ate ludy-food which I think most readers would consider to be not-really-food.
I was given a very pleasant mint chop chip cookie (with excellent allergy labelling - yay!) after the final photo and enjoyed that.
And having an ice cream van at a BiCon was pretty strange and awesome! I've never had stripy ice cream in a cone with a flake before - it was good.

Number of children I was responsible for:
I unilaterally took responsibility for a young adult during the Fire Alarm while their actual adults were otherwise engaged. But they are a perfectly sensible person who didn't actually need any looking after - just a known adult to evacuate and stand in the crowd with.
I wasn't responsible for any of the many Smalls in our flat but there was a lot of interesting interaction (and occasionally grabbing them when they got to close to hot-burny parts of the kitchen/slamming doors)

Food eaten:
Enough. (Well as noted above I call it food and it works for me)
There were a whole series of FAILs in getting coffee with the extremely unpredictable opening hours of the nice coffee counter in the Food Hall and 3 separate coffee machines stopping working when I went near them!

People I meant to talk to, or meant to talk to more, but didn't:
Loads and loads. Basically almost everyone. Please do chat to me here instead.
I did get to have decent-length talks with [personal profile] karen2205 and [personal profile] haggis but they are such interesting and lovely people they still fall in the category of "would have liked to to talk to more"

Alcohol consumed:
None as ever.

Other recreational drugs taken:
Do you count painkillers and ventolin?

Times I fell over:
I went physically and emotionally Splat multiple times. Which is rubbish for a BiCon but everyone was so lovely about it and i'm actually impressed with myself for doing as much as I did.
Particular thanks to [personal profile] haggis, [personal profile] softfruit, [personal profile] oilrig[personal profile] sanjerina,[personal profile] skibbley and other E-who-isn't-on-here (in spite of being an otherwise sensible person!) for looking after a distressed and/or achey ludy

Injuries sustained:
None I didn't already come with.
I'm particularly pleased that the other-group having what looked like a very pleasant barbecue on the Achre only resulted in minor respiratory discomfort and not a full-on asthma attack

Perseids spotted:
None. I wasn't able to stay up

People spotted in the train station on Sunday afternoon:
I went part way home in [personal profile] oilrig's car (and is was definitly not BiCon anymore by the time I was in a train the next day). But we Cunningly stopped off on the way to visit someone who often attends BiCon but hadn't made it this year to extend the ConBubble

Best non-Bicon thing about the weekend:
The cat!

Volunteering done (can be anything even small thing like picking up litter or buying organisers a drink):
Not enough - which I feel guilty about.
But I did do the minor workshop assisting mentioned above and lent my camera for the big group photo (and even though I would trust [personal profile] softfruit with my life it still makes me horribly anxious to have her leaning out of a window with what is prolly my most expensive possession!)
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
August 14th, 2017
sfred: (faun)
If there's anything you want to say to me after BiCon, feel free to do so here. Comments are screened and will remain so.
skibbley: Grant wearing a straw hat (Default)
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ludy at 02:19pm on 14/08/2017
I am currently at [personal profile] oilrig's being floompy (and being fed caffeine, hugs and ludy-safe food) so technically my BiCon has not yet ended. I'll try to do a write up in the next few days.
My physical health is still not-great but I managed to have a reasonably pleasantly low-spoon BiCon even though I couldn't manage a lot of things I would have liked to do. Many thanks to all the people who were lovely and helpful and who did low-imoact socialising with me. (And apologises to the many lovely people I didn't get to catch up with).

If you are trying to match DreamWidth identities to actual BiCon attendees I am actually called Ludy (i'm not great at cryptic!), I have pink glasses and usually a headwrap - and am often in the company if a small but stompy stuffy-bunny...

Meanwhile here is my kind-of-traditional say anything you want to to me post. Comments are screened (so if you want a response please say how is best to be in touch with you) and anonymity is allowed (though does pretty much guarantee you won't get a response because I won't know who to respond to!)
skibbley: Grant wearing a straw hat (Default)
August 10th, 2017
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ludy at 08:45pm on 10/08/2017
BiCon I am in you!

This is going to have be a low-key BiCon for me but i'm very up for having coffee and chatting with Lovely People.

I have no phone signal in the accommodation so instead if texting please leave a screened comment here and tell me how is best to get back to you.
(Non-BiConners are welcome to leave messages too but I'll prolly take longer to reply)
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
posted by [personal profile] tim at 12:22pm on 10/08/2017 under ,
This is a follow-up to my article "Refusing to Empathize with Elliot Rodger: Taking Male Entitlement Seriously".

As I mentioned initially, Lundy Bancroft lists a number of tactics abusive men use in conversations. In Why Does He Do That?, he notes that when one of the abusers he works with attempts to use one of these tactics on him or another group participant, and Bancroft calmly names which tactic it is instead of reacting, the abuser usually gets even angrier. So in that spirit, I thought I would compile a list of responses to my article and classify them according to the abuse tactics they use.

Here is a subset of Bancroft's list of conversational abuse tactics in p. 145-146 (n.b. all page-number references are to Why Does He Do That?)

  1. Sarcasm
  2. Ridicule
  3. Distorting what you say (this was one of the most common responses I saw, in which the interlocutor would make up a caricature of what I wrote and then attack that, instead of engaging with the actual ideas).
  4. Accusing you of doing what he does, or thinking the way he thinks (AKA projection, as discussed on p. 142)
  5. Using a tone of absolute certainty and final authority -- "defining reality":
    When Mr. Right decides to take control of a conversation, he switches into his Voice of Truth, giving the definitive pronouncement on what is the correct answer or the proper outlook. Abuse counselors call this tactic defining reality. Over time, his tone of authority can cause his partner to doubt her own judgment and come to see herself as not very bright. (p. 82)
  6. Not listening, refusing to respond -- I've rephrased this as "dismissal", since the original list was concerned with in-person conversations where one person can literally ignore the other. Online, the equivalent of this is not ignoring, but replying in a way that doesn't at all engage with the content, rather labeling it in ways that create negative sentiment without actually trying to refute ideas. Dismissal is not ignoring (it's great when people ignore things they don't like or don't care about!) -- the effort that the abuser puts in to communicate "I didn't read this, I didn't think it was worth reading, but I'm still going to attack it" shows that it is important to them that the person being abused not be heard. (Compare Kathy Sierra's "Trouble at the Kool-Aid Point" and my own previous discussion of false dismissal.)
  7. Changing the subject to his grievances
  8. Provoking guilt
  9. Playing the victim
  10. Name-calling, insults, put-downs. I'm calling out "insulting intelligence" as its own subcategory:
    The abuser tends to see his partner as less intelligent, less competent, less logical, and even less sensitive than he is.... He often has difficulty conceiving of her as a human being. (p. 63)
    One of the primary rhetorical weapons used against underrepresented people in tech is that we're not intelligent, and indeed, that was a large part of what made the original manifesto abusive.
  11. Threatening to harm you
There are others, but I listed the ones that are most relevant to online conversations. And I would add two more:
  • Demanding explanation, where the interlocutor asks for more justification either in ways that make it clear they didn't read the entire piece, or didn't read it carefully, or don't actually want to debate and are just asking in order to steal attention. Sort of like a human denial-of-service attack. The person demanding explanation is like the type of abuser Bancroft describes as "Mr. Right":
    "Mr. Right tries to sanitize his bullying by telling me, 'I have strong opinions' or 'I like debating ideas.' This is like a bank robber saying, 'I'm interested in financial issues.' Mr. Right isn't interested in debating ideas; he wants to impose his own." (p. 83)
    "It is frustrating, and ultimately pointless, to argue with someone who is certain beyond the shadow of a doubt that his perspective is accurate and complete and that yours is wrong and stupid. Where can the conversation possibly go?" (p. 144)
    Demanding explanation is abusive because it's deceptive: the abuser who demands an explanation holds out the promise that he is reasonable, he can be persuaded, and the conversation can go somewhere positive if you just explain more. In reality, he is not open to being changed by what he hears, and is just trying to waste your time and/or entrap you for more abuse. Demanding a 1-on-1 conversation also reflects entitlement to the time and attention of the writer, who has already provided plenty of explanation. It is pretty obvious to me when someone is asking questions out of genuine openness to change, and when they're doing it in a rude and entitled way.
  • Gaslighting; Bancroft discusses discrediting extensively (p. 125, p. 146) but doesn't call it out in the above list. "You're too sensitive", "You're overreacting", and -- when not justified, other than by the purported oversensitivity of the writer -- "You can't make that comparison, it's ridiculous" are all forms of gaslighting. They attempt to make the listener doubt their own perceptions and judgment. I included gaslighting comments under "ridicule", but it's worth pointing out that this is a common and insidious form of ridicule, since it seems superficially reasonable (of course we all think that nobody should be too sensitive, or react too much, though the boundary for how sensitive it's acceptable to be is rarely discussed).

The analysis

I read:
  • All of my mentions that were replies to tweets (from me or other people) linking to "Refusing to Empathize with Elliot Rodger, or that linked to the essay without replying to me.
  • Two comments on my Dreamwidth post that were screened and that I deleted.
(I excluded a lot of mentions that could also have gone on this list, but were replies to tweets unrelated to the essay. My favorite one of those, though, was a response to a picture I posted of a display of boxes of LaCroix sparkling water, which said something like "looking for something to drink so you can get fatter?")

The following table lists all but one of the responses, along with the abusive tactics each one employs.

There was one response that didn't use any of the abusive tactics above. It was illogical (blaming Marc Lépine's actions on Islam because Lépine's father was Algerian), but may have been written in good faith, even if it was ignorant.

So in short:

  • 27 critical/negative replies
  • 26 out of 27 use at least one abuse tactic identified by Bancroft; most several
  • The remaining one is illogical / primarily based on religious stereotyping.
  • No substantive criticisms. At all.
I am often wrong, and many times, people have had critical things to say about my writing. Sometimes they were right. Often, they were non-abusive. But something about this essay drew out many abusive responses, while no one had a genuine intellectual criticism. When you call out and name abuse, a way that you can tell that you were right is that the abusers get more abusive. I'm sure there are places where this essay falls short, logically, or could be better expressed. But no one has pointed them out.

CW: verbally abusive comments; slurs )

Conclusion

The dominance of abuse in the negative responses to my piece doesn't prove I'm right, of course. It doesn't prove there's no good argument against my core theses, and it doesn't prove I didn't make any mistakes. But given that a lot of people were so eager to debunk my article, if there was a good argument, don't you think one of them might have found one?

I think giving names to abusive conversational patterns is extremely powerful and I think it's important to distinguish between criticism and abuse, and notice when the only thing people can seem to muster up in response to anti-abuse discourse is more abuse.

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