For those interested, Amanda at Pandagon is pulling a prank today. It's designed as a response to the annoying tendency by men of a certain nature, particularly prevalent on the internet, to disregard substantive arguments made by women and instead focus on how attractive or unattractive the woman is. The impetus for the prank was a slashdot post linking to an article by a woman on the subject of gaming. Roughly 90% of the comments completely ignored the substance of the article and instead focused on the sexual desirability, or lack thereof, of the author. It should be noted that the article had nothing to say about gender or sex and gaming, nor did it make any explicit or implicit mention of the author's gender; the only aspect of the article that indicated femaleness was the author's name in the by-line and her photo. The slasdot commentary included both dismissive comments (to the effect of "why should I care what she says? She isn't hot.") and comments that attempted to be supportive in a nonetheless objectifying way (posts that said "Don't listen to him! You're plenty hot!" while still ignoring what the article said).

Amanda has gotten sick of the way that women on the internet (and in real life too, obviously) are often treated as sex objects first and human beings with opinions second. She's even more sick of people who make objectifying comments without realizing that they're being dismissive.

Hence the prank: She's selected a male blogger of a fairly attractive nature who is 1. highly invested in his masculinity, and 2. generally dismissive of female bloggers. Today she has guided her posters, and anyone who shows up, to a post on his site with very few comments thus far. The mission is to leave comments that entirely ignore the substance of the post and instead focus entirely on the blogger's relative merits as a physical specimen. All are welcome, and encouraged: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, and comments can be positive or negative, so long as they aren't substantive.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on May 2, 2006 9:02 AM.

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