Men of DesignerNews(

over 7 years ago from Ian Williams, ✍ ◐ < ◑ ☞

  • Jonathan CutrellJonathan Cutrell, over 7 years ago

    I felt conflicted about whether to comment, but, hey - it's the Internet, it's what it's here for...

    So, I think the biggest downfall of sites like these are that they do use the label "men" to delineate the group of people making the sexist remarks.

    Now, before we slap the label "not all men" on me, how would it feel if we instead said "Humans of Designer News"? (It's really quite difficult to hold back "not all humans!")

    A lot of people will say that we need to be more specific, and this outlines the reason why. If we zoom out a level, things start getting a bit uncomfortable for the people we zoom out to. It's lazy to generalize, and it's damaging to create stereotypes to try to "balance the scales."

    Now, "Humans of Designer News" isn't quite appropriate, is it? Because now, we're lumping in a bunch of people who don't quite deserve to be lumped in, and in fact we're also lumping in the victims.

    Coming to Designer News casually, and being as intentionally respectful of people on this site as I know how to be, then seeing this tumblr - both for the ridiculousness of the misogyny AND for the incendiary nature of this tumblr to begin with - is enough to click x for the day.

    Let me be very clear: there's no excuse for disrespecting women on Designer News. And, there's also no excuse to perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

    3 points
    • Ire AderinokunIre Aderinokun, over 7 years ago

      It's understandable to feel defensive about the title because it does generalise a bit. But the thing is, there is no one who goes on the site that believes it is representative of all men on designer news.

      I'm a woman, I come on Designer News every day and see that many of the men here are civil and respectful. When I saw the site, I didn't think it was representative of all men on dn at all.

      But now the vast majority of comments on this thread are about the title of the site rather than the content. It seems that the men who are so quick to say that the site doesn't represent them are way more bothered about the title rather than the real problem at hand.

      6 points
      • Jonathan CutrellJonathan Cutrell, over 7 years ago

        That's fair, to some extent.

        I do believe that language is important, seeing as that's how we get in these kinds of messes, so it shouldn't be glossed over on either side. What we say affects the way people think.

        If I created a generalized title of "Women of Designer News" and then chose only a particular subset of those women, I would be inaccurate to some degree with my language, and that is harmful.

        To say that "there is no one who goes on the site that believes it is representative of all men on designer news" doesn't cover the tracks all the way, because the language is still indicative that it is all encompassing. Again, we can go back to the zoomed out view - why not name it "People of Designer News" instead, since we wouldn't assume it meant all the people?

        So, I don't think we can demand better, more respectful language on one hand, and allow for inference on the other hand.

        With all of that said, it's a minor inconvenience to me, and more likely a major inconvenience to a large number of women on Designer News, and my quibbles are probably better kept to myself. :)

        We don't run out of apologies, gentlemen. They are free and powerful, if sincere. Use them generously.

        6 points
        • Ethan BondEthan Bond, over 7 years ago

          I just wanted to say that this is a really great comment. I understand the complaints in terms of accuracy, but I hate when people use it to delegitimize the complaints themselves.

          You did a fantastic job of balancing the need for specificity of language with the need for real action.

          0 points
        • Jake Lazaroff, over 7 years ago

          I think we'd be giving up some powerful artistic and rhetorical tools if we tried to make the title of everything exactly accurate.

          e.g. "Humans of New York", "Techies", "People of Color in Tech"

          No one complains that "Silicon Valley" isn't instead called "A Satire of Silicon Valley Stereotypes".

          We don't run out of apologies, gentlemen. They are free and powerful, if sincere. Use them generously.

          ^ great comment :)

          2 points