Saturday, 29 December 2012

Farewells and welcomes

We've got some exciting new bloggers, four in fact, coming soon to The Hand Mirror. 

Some are still working out what to call themselves and how to do their introductions, and we are all stoked to have them on board.  There will be some interesting and challenging reading ahead I'm sure! 

And we also farewell, fondly, three who haven't written for us in a long while, Enid, Lil'E and Undomestic Goddess.  They may pop up as guesties we hope.


Lindsay Mitchell said...

"Some are still working out what to call themselves..."

What about their actual names?

Mark Hubbard said...

Second Lindsay.

What is wrong with posting under your own name?

There's a refreshing honesty and integrity in it, which reflects back on what is written.

Anonymous said...

I guess because the sad reality is that posting under your real name on the internet isn't always safe. Especially for feminists.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the oh-so-original suggestion, 'Lindsay Mitchell' (if that *is* your real name). I bet none of them thought of that!

Jane Q. Pseudonym

anarkaytie said...

As someone who has had complete troll-farms of young Actoids attack me in ad hominem remarks, while writing under my own name in Salient, I can vouch for the fact that for some women, on some topics, using one's own legal name is not always a good idea.

The time that someone posted on a thread at Kiwiblog 'put her address up & we'll send someone around to sort her out', was one such.
Since I value my security, my address, where I was then living post-divorce with my three school-age children, was not common knowledge on campus, so nobody posted it.
OTH, Farrar did not remove the comment from the thread, nor did he censure the commentor on his blog.

The choice to blog under a pseudonym should be left to each individual blogger to make, especially when misogynist responses can be practically guaranteed for feminist bloggers.

I remain, pseudonymously, yours

Julie said...

Dear Lindsay and Mark,
Thank you for your unsolicited contributions on what people should call themselves online.

I wish to draw to your attention two sites that may be more worthy of your attention in regard to this issue that is obviously vexing you. They are known as "Kiwiblog" and "The Standard" and both have literally hundreds of pseudonymous people actively writing there on a daily basis.

Also: what me, Jane Q and Anarkaytie said.

Also, also: What QOT said:

I have a bit more on this subject too, but think I'll turn it into a blog post proper.

Yours etc
Julie Fairey

K said...

I agree, pseudonyms are the way to go.

Now Muse is no longer continuing I need more current feminist writings to stimulate my thinking.

Mark Hubbard said...

As a classical liberal / libertarian I would die (probably not literally) defending your right to post anonymously, however, my 'unsolicited comment' was regards what your goals for Hand Mirror are, as a fellow blogger.

Thanks for quoting the Stardard, because there is no more unprofessional or toxic place in the NZ blogsphere, and they prove the point I want to make below. (Incidentally, Fran O'Sullivan called that vicious place the Ku Klux Klan of the Internet, and she was right. And here's the thing, from experience commenting there, where a gang of anonymous, dishonest moderators and writers changed my comments, they settled in my mind that re-writing histories and such reprehensible behaviour, was a standard tactic of the Left. Fair ir not. More worriesomely, there has been only one other site where my comments have been treated, not as badly as that, but shabbily, and unprofessionally, and that was, some time ago, Hand Mirror. In both instances what astounded me was the level of uncalled for hate being applied to me, when, as with this post, I was simply adding alternative views into the discourse. I still don't understand the hate.)

I do have sympathy for your concerns on safety, I run a blog called Life Behind the IRon Drape, that amongst other things, attacks both tax policy, and especially tax administration, which has become the administration of full authoritarian, police state styled rule. Given my job, it's likely not safe, however I choose to blog under my own name, because I believe such conviction gives weight, and credence, to the ideas I want to put 'out there' into the ongoing debate about the society we all live in. Also, given ultimately nothing is anonymous on the Internet, I could argue using one's own name a defence in terms of safety, though I understand your concern, and am not trying to trivialise It. So to my actual point ...

When I post under my name, my reputation is on the line, always, vis a vis my behaviour and how I conduct myself. Using your name helps ensure, I believe, civilised conduct, and honesty, because your reputation is affected by what you write, how you act, and how you treat other individuals. I believe the Standard is such a toxic, hate-filled, hateful place because anonymity allows the owners to act in a vicious manner they would not do otherwise in normal, civilised human discourse - that's not a good thing, and it does their cause no good (look at the treatment of Clare Curran this year in terms of an own goal for the supposed ideas they want to promote. Note, I have little in common with Clare, but from my few respectful - there's another word - connections with her on Twitter, I like and respect her. )

Which returns me to my previous treatment in Hand Mirror. On my blog, which works on the radical notion people are individuals, I make a point of replying to every comment, and I try to keep my replies at only the level of ideas, never personal attacks, because such aggression can only cause harm to what I am trying to do. I also welcome views for or against my own - I run a public blog because I want public participation. So I guess it gets to what Hand Mirror is trying to do? A public blog interacting with individuals such as myself in a discussion, carried by professionalism; or something else (what?). Because I suspect the alternative is this venue puts in the mind of the public, school girls speaking behind their hands in a Goldingesqe playground. Just like Standard.

Julie said...

Thank you Mark for your thoughts on what The Hand Mirror is about. To be honest I'm personally not that worried if you don't like the way we do things. Other bloggers here may take your words to heart and modify their approaches, but possibly not.

My take on our reason for being has been to be an explicitly feminist space in the NZ political blogosphere, to promote women's voices in a discourse often dominated by men. To date this has also meant being generally left of centre, pro-choice, and against various forms of discrimination (not just sexism) although at times I know I for one have pursued this last somewhat imperfectly.

This evolves and manifests in different ways as the bloggers and readership of THM changes and shifts over time. In earlier times personally I had much more focus on promoting feminist events, other feminist blogs and posts, women's voices in general in NZ politics etc, but that's not as necessary now (and also is v time consuming for the person doing it, and I have less blogging time than ever before).

You can of course run your own blog however you like. We will continue to run The Hand Mirror as suits us. And while I write in my own name, as do several others, for some that isn't an option they want to take up. And it's not up to you to question why, it's up to them to decide, for themselves, and I see that as entirely commensurate with the feminist viewpoint "my body = my choice". In this case "my moniker my choice".

Other blog post which goes down a different route somewhat, coming soon.

Other bloggers views may differ - don't assume silence means they all agree with me.

Mark Hubbard said...

Cheers Julie. Your header post of today (2 January) is interesting also. I don't disagree with the points you make, and I wasn't trying to set out HM policy, just querying the why of that policy.

Completely OT now, your reply contains the single-most confusing fact - to me - about HM, and - excuse my generalising - the broad swath of feminist thought and action, namely, quote:

"commensurate with the feminist viewpoint "my body = my choice". In this case "my moniker my choice".

I have a 100% agreement with both of those sentences, however, the identity issues involved in those lead me logically politically and philosophically toward classical liberalism and libertarianism; that is, a humanist individualism. Yet it has led you, and I note the past Alliance affiliation, and the other writers of HM, to the Left, which I see as having a dreadful history vis a vis feminism. Under Left politics, which I refer to on my blog more as statism, economically, aping Orwell, state capitalism, the State, as a theocracy almost in the West now, in many ways that matter greatly, 'own you' as they do me. That's why I see the battle as finally casting off the tyranny of mob rule (democracy) for a constitutional minarchy set up around the non-initiation of force principle, which would seem a far better fit for a feminist ethic.

It's interesting agreement with the same end, takes us down quite opposing lines of thought, and I don't understand how with that end, you see the Left politick as part of a solution?

In place of Rebecca West's 'radical notion that women are people', I promote the radical view that people are individuals first, and if society is based on protecting that smallest minority, an individual, then all the bad ism's (sexism, racism, et al) are denied oxygen.

Rand knows I wouldn't seek to drive content on HM, the comments section of HM makes refreshingly evident it has no wish to be inclusive - which is, however, relating to Left politics, another contradiction - but regardless, that topic is a fascinating one :)

I'll disappear into the background again now, but look forward to reading HM into 2013.