Saturday, January 12, 2013

Limericks from the patriarchy

Thread title started as : Bureaucracy is idiocy

Mod seems to have changed it to : "Just a Joke" in action? (Derail from Bureaucracy)

... after the thread became a bunch of insanity.

Here is the OP's post.

       Mod edit: Handwritten Vogon poetry, a limerick of Buckle
Buckle wrote:Bureaucracy is a catastrophe
A waste of time for you and me

A form for formality
no tit nor tat nor cup of tea

it's elemental mediocrity
that's petty officiality

To understand bureaucracy
here's a degree in nonsensology

The bureaucrat's autocracy
infuses me with inordinacy

I'd rather follow astrology
Than deal with this bureaucracy.

/end rant

By the way, bureaucracy is a really hard word to spell... I copied and pasted.  :)
So I was at the banks etc today and got annoyed... decided a poem would make me feel better. I'd quite enjoy it if anyone else had some lines to add about their truly wonderful dealings with the delightful world of bureaucracy!

As a Vogon, I must point out that your poetry is absolutely stunning!

In your honour:

There was a young lady called Buckle
Who lived life with calmness and chill
Until she dealt with a banker
who was a real wanker
and she ended up feeling quite ill.

A mod hid the original submission behind a show/hide button to protect the innocents on the Atheism+ forms.

So, there is a poem about bureaucracy, and someone added a limerick about bureaucracy.

What was the big deal about a limerick about bureaucracy?

Eowyn Entwife wastes no time, and is the first to reply:

Yeah, great "joke", positioned perfectly for the classic "But it was just a joke!" defense of the classic sexual harasser.

Cultural deconstruction for those who are not too familiar with the details of the role that certain types of limericks play in the English-speaking world (and BTW, this is the part about which the classic sexual harasser claims that it's all in my head, that I am the one with the problem...)

1) "There was a young lady..." is a classic start for a limerick with a sexual pun. DO NOT follow the links unless you want to read a pile of examples: ... -arse.html and one more at ... d_versions

2) The use of the word "wanker" in the limerick makes the sexual connotations explicit.

There, deconstructed. That was easy. Then the conclusion:

3) Making such a limerick exclusively about any individual and/or in a dedicated safe space is sexual harassment and a violation of our rules.

End of story. The mods will likely be here soon, if they did not arrive already while I was typing this.

Gentle and respectful (((hugs))) to anyone who needs/wants.

The writer of the poem, and the subject of the limerick, Buckle,  replies:

Oh goodness! Well I didn't take any offense from that limerick, since well all it said was that I was chill... and I certainly try to be!
But in light of what Eowyn has said, Glob maybe you should apologise and hide it under a trigger for members who do find it troubling. I'm assuming you meant it in good taste and weren't aware of the stigma. I certainly don't have any experience in that particular area so my opinion is only valid as the person being referred to. 
Yes... maybe the OP should apologize for offending nobody in particular.

Glob the Funct (the OP) comes back with a direct question:

Please be quite clear here.
Are you accusing me of sexual harassment?

EllieMuraski chimes in:

Not being Eowyn or Flewellyn, I can't say for certain whether they are, but for damn sure I am. Knock it the fuck off.

SubMor (a moderator) replies, in all BOLD:

Let me be quite clear: I don't care whether she was accusing you of that or not. She highlighted a possible interpretation that you should care about and actively seek to avoid. You responding like this? All confrontational-like? Not an acceptable response in either case. Send that train right back to the damn station. Now.

So the mods don't care if someone is being falsely accused of harassment, but they do care if someone (who was just told to 'knock it the fuck off') is being confrontational

Think about that a little bit.

Eowyn gets back to the apology suggestion:
 That was good advice. Xe did not take it. 
Ellie then drew the same conclusion as I did, so I have nothing to add.
Nice logic here - one of my feminist friends agreed with me, then limericks must be bad.

Glob the Funct comes back, tells the moderator to essentially let people have a discussion:

I wasn't asking you.
If she chooses not to answer, then sobeit.
For the record there was no intention to sexually harass.
SubMor is back with some more threats:

That wasn't the backing of the train up to the station. At all. Here's a day off to figure out what you want to say next to resolve the situation.

Whether or not you intended to be sexually harassing does not negate that several people have interpreted your actions as sexually harassing. Part of rape culture is that harassment gets normalized so it doesn't seem like harassment - it's "just a joke" after all.
That doesn't fly here: 4 people - including two mods - have told you that your behavior comes off as sexual harassment. Count me as number 5. The correct thing to do here is not to double down, but to at the very least, try to figure out why we take that interpretation of your post (hint: Read this and all of the things linked in it. When you're done, move on to this). 

OMG! The 5 other people that read this forum say you're a sexual harasser! that should give a normal person pause, right?
Well yes, if normal people ever posted in this forum.
SubMor adds:
To clarify, I'm not saying that Glob's behavior necessarily constitutes sexual harassment. What I am saying is that responding to "hey that thing you said looked to me like sexual harassment" by becoming hostile and implying that that perception is a horrible crime is completely unacceptable. If such an implication is inadvertent, that's an excellent opportunity to clarify and/or apologize as the situation calls for. Not to rely on "omg someone thinks I might have done a bad thing, what a bully!"
And responding to a mod who's telling you that your behavior isn't okay with "I wasn't asking you?" Well, that's asking for it.
Funny to read the "just asking for it" argument on a feminist forum.
A bit later, another moderator, ceepolk, chimes in:
It's simple.
the limerick was not fucking cool, so don't do it.
i don't give a fuck what the intent was. I don't care that it's "just a joke." plenty of people explained why it was a bad idea, and it needs to stop.
microaggressions followed up by gaslighting is harassment. Jumping in to argue that it's not fair and we're bad people because we don't like shit like that is arguing in support of harassment. Not the fuck on. at all. 
None of the follow up would have been necessary if the immediate response was, "Well shit, I didn't mean to do that. I'm sorry. I'll avoid it in the future."
But we got pearl-clutching and tantrums instead, and then up jumped the devil to help paddle the douchekayak about a thing that didn't concern him at all, returning from a months long absence to continue exactly the same bickering derails and apologia he did before. 
there's your map. 
Rules for posting on Atheism+ forums:

1) Anybody can label your submission as harassment
2) The only applicable response is apology, even nobody has specifically claimed offense
3) Arguing that your behavior is anything but irresponsible is just microaggression
4) Attempting to discuss what is and isn't harassment is "gaslighting" and a bannable offense
5) P.S. Fuck you, we're mods, we do what we want.


  1. Ah, postmodernism, I missed you so. That "deconstruction" is priceless. Interesting also to see the supposed victim ceding moral authority to the maligner ....