Broken

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 pm, May 9th, 2016 - 252 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

I’m currently working in Christchurch. Cycling around the central city my first weekend here left me gobsmacked. Cafes, pubs and bookshops I used to know are gone. The landmarks I got used to when I first lived here at the turn of the century are gone. On the bike, I’d ride around a corner and get completely confused as to where I was. I didn’t recognise the place any more. It’s broken, but it can be fixed.

A couple of weeks ago, I met a former partner for coffee on a glorious autumn day. She’s a gorgeous, bright and loving person. Let me make it clear; it’s entirely my fault we split up. I was a dick. I wouldn’t talk about what was bugging me,  wouldn’t be upfront and honest with her. I was scared, but I wouldn’t say so. I left, but it was me that drove her from me. Now she’s in another relationship, has kids and a whole set of other issues to deal with. But she’s not happy. Something’s missing. She says she feels broken.  Broken. That haunts me and hurts me. Broken. That situation needs fixing. But on her terms.

It’s become blatantly obvious in the last twenty four hours that there is a significant problem with the Standard. This sometimes wonderful forum, which started nearly a decade ago as the self proclaimed voice of the Labour movement, is now entirely speaking with a male voice. The voice of the Standard no longer reflects the labour movement to a large extent. It certainly does little for the women who make up the majority of the labour movement.  It certainly does not regularly reflect the wider views of the half of NZ who are women.

Why is this? What can be done about it? Is the Standard broken? Can it be fixed?

We really, really need women writing for the Standard. We need more women commenting. And we men, we left men, here at TS, we need to make women feel safe, supported and welcome.

There’s too many pricks, not enough roses.

My suggestion is that we need to look again at the structures of the Standard, from the ‘owners’, through the moderators and onto the authors. The undemocratic, male dominated and authoritarian ownership structure of the Standard is fundamentally wrong for a left blog. There are moderators who do little or no blog writing, don’t contribute much in the comments, but hang on grimly to their tools of power and control. There are authors who are bigots, authors who hate the left, authors who hate women. One author is all of the above. Why are they here on a left wing blog?

The Standard is broken. But it can be fixed.

Fixing the Standard also starts with me. Regular readers will have noticed I’ve been far less inclined recently to use the moderator’s black ink. I’m trying to gently encourage good behaviour by adding a comment rather than wave my mighty sword of justice around. I’m capable of learning. I’m capable of changing. I was broken, I can be fixed.

So, what do we do about the Standard?

I’d like to hear suggestions for change, but I’m equally happy to hear opinions that are contrary to mine. Most of all, and fundamentally, I’d like to hear from the women who comment here. Actually, I’d really, really like to hear from the women who don’t comment here. This is one post where your voices are going to be encouraged and cherished.

But only if you want to talk. You’re in control, at least this one time. The Standard is broken. I’d like the women who care about this blog to say how it might be fixed.

252 comments on “Broken”

  1. BM 1

    The Standard is not broken.

    Any problems are with you and your group think binary approach to life.

    • gnomic 1.1

      World class idiot. When you shake your head do you hear the brain cell rattling round in there?

  2. ann johns 2

    Well that sounds encouraging. The Daily Blog has just had a bit of a set to about women, some of us have boycotted it, I know I have. I will be talking to some of my female friends to suggest that this may be a safe place to comment and be taken seriously. Thank you.

  3. Richardrawshark 3

    I find to much time answering or sifting past posts left by right wing stirrers who’s only reason it seems to be here is to say anything to upset and incite a reaction. I have myself been found in the past to have reacted badly to said provocation.

    I think it distracts from good conversations about issues and turns posts into nasty little nothings. This is off putting no matter your gender.

    My suggestion to make The Standard better is too simply police these fools and kick them straight away, come in with idea’s suggestions intelligent conversations don’t come looking for an argument basically.

    I think if the atmosphere here became better, the more people would come.

    as for the gender mix here at the Standard, likewise improve the atmosphere women don’t want to read men arguing all the time and insults flying afaik

    • How about if those of us with the dangly parts leave this thread alone? That would be a good place to start. I’m now taking my own advice.

    • weka 3.2

      I also get frustrated at the amount of time that goes into arguments with stirrers (I’m ok with RWers who make actual political arguments and think they bring value to the site). There is a dynamic that people will go to where the good fight is. I do it myself, I like arguing. But it doesn’t serve the left. The issues are too urgent to be wasting it having shit fights over minutiae. I also yearn for debate that is constructive and actually goes somewhere.

      I’m not sure to what extent that can be changed short of a change in moderation policy. Commenters could choose to change too of course, and I’m trying to not get sucked into the long bullshitty conversations.

    • Raff 3.3

      “I think if the atmosphere here became better, the more people would come.
      As for the gender mix here at the Standard, likewise improve the atmosphere women don’t want to read men arguing all the time and insults flying”
      Yep. Edit to retain interesting discussion only; no more tiresome spiteful adolescent splutterings.

    • greywarshark 3.4

      Richardrawshark
      “as for the gender mix here at the Standard, likewise improve the atmosphere women don’t want to read men arguing all the time and insults flying afaik”

      Who knows what ‘women’ want? I am sure that many women are just as interested in what men are arguing about with enough passion to have insults flying around as other men are. Some yes, some no.

      Don’t assume that the dear little women have better things to talk about, and can’t stand swear words. That’s so fucking patronising! Some of the opinions here about women and what they want sound a mix of 19th century with mid 21st century feminist-new-wave when men had to make efforts to remember they needed to include women who had been excluded till then. Don’t play around with the idea of interfering or limiting robust, wide-ranging comment.

      Now women have to step up and include themselves. No-one is stopping them from taking an interest, having a say, advancing policy. But it can’t be just about females, they must put female ideas and needs forward for a better general policy level that applies to everybody ensuring all women are getting a fair deal, alongside all men. Not instead of, not ahead of, but beside, taking on men’s approaches and working with them, and bringing female thoughtful, informed, practical minds and ideas to the table. And too adding some sly humour, friendship, collegiality, determination, communication, trying to be fully aware of the values and pitfalls, and seeking understanding and good results, (not moaning from the side as supplicants).

      • Bill 3.4.1

        …taking on men’s approaches and working with them, and bringing their thoughtful, informed, practical minds and ideas to the table.

        Should they bring tea and bikkies to the table at the same time greywarshark? That would be nice, hmm?

        And what’s a ‘female idea’? Am I correct in thinking you equate feminism in some exclusionary way to women? As (can’t remember his name off the top of my head – recently deceased actor) said – went something like – ‘How can you be a man in this world and not be a feminist?’

        …bearing in mind there are some who imagine to wrap themselves in a cloth of righteousness and feminism before parading down the street for all to gasp in wonderment at their invisible dress sense, style and taste. Happily, even the blind can usually identify them by the stench of the pustulence that oozes and drips from each creaking attempt to form the next of their graceful, righteous poses.

        • greywarshark 3.4.1.1

          Bill
          Your comment underlines why I don’t think that nameless comments should ever be started. There just wouldn’t be the same taste in the comment, the salt and spice in the pudding. And at the discussion table by all means tea and bikkies, perhaps a little pale ale even,with crackers and cheese. Hmmmm?

          Female is an allowed word still I think. PCness decides words can go in and out of favour. Lady was out, and wimmin was in. Bitch was out, but has now been embraced by many as ‘owning’ a derogatory word and so taking the sting out of it.
          (That is as I understand matters at present and is separate from my exchange with BWaghorn where we mentioned real-life dogs and bitches.) Feminist is a word that has an electric current always running through it, which gives a small or large zing when touched. Not to be used indiscriminately.

          The last para is very interesting and I will study it religiously over the next year.
          I propose to print it off within a fancy border onto strong card and slog up to the top of a nearby hill overlooking the distant sea and read it and contemplate on it.
          This will be very healthy for me, cleansing my mind of all other matters, and giving me needed exercise so ridding myself of being a fathead also grossness of the body.
          edited
          NB
          I’m practising satire and nonsense here, and this is not intended to refer to anyone either dead or alive, or yet to be born. And should be regarded with bemusement and not annoyance by anybody feeling very serious. Getting through the coming decades without a sense of humour and getting a little distance from the moshpit will be impossible.

  4. I have written for The Standard several times but I find the level of abuse from trolls too unhealthy. Of course, that’s exactly what they want – a ‘chilling’ effect – but knowing it does not make it any less dirty and unpleasant. It doesn’t mean I won’t do it again, but it does mean I think twice before taking the plunge. What I hoped for was intelligent discussion on how to fix the myriad issues we are facing, not point scoring. We all know what the issues are – in fact they all boil down to greed (either materially or power, or both) – but unless we can stop bitching at each other and actually start coming up with concerted action for the cause of good – and by this I mean generosity compassion and love – then what is the point? The time has come for action, and modelling the values we treasure would be a good place to start. And try reading this: http://bwb.co.nz/books/interregnum – best analysis out for a long time and a positive road map for what is needed to move forwards.

    • weka 4.1

      Mandy, do you see that as a moderation issue? Do you have moderating rights on the posts you write? Would you want to moderate your own posts or have someone else moderate them?

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        This would help. TS could have a second tier of posts where moderation is applied. We have the ability now and apply it when pollies post. I do not see why it could not be a more regular feature.

      • Mandy Hager 4.1.2

        The trouble with moderating your own posts is you still get to read the shit even if you don’t approve it! I’m not sure I’d find this any more enticing. Perhaps a whole strategy change is needed – instead of leaping straight into name-calling and argument perhaps kill them with kindness – lead from the top and be so gracious it drives the trolls nuts! It’s got to be better than the mauling that goes on – and weirdly, it often works (any parent or teacher knows this – it’s called positive reinforcement!) It’s not working now so why keep doing the same old stuff? Right now it turns into a circular argument and achieves nothing. I’d really like to see all the smart people out there contributing positive ideas for change – we sure as hell need some. And, yes, proactive moderation that doesn’t allow the name-calling to escalate.

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          “I’d really like to see all the smart people out there contributing positive ideas for change”

          gods, me too!

          I can’t see the regular commenters changing their habits without being prompted to by different moderation. There are too many of us here who love the argument itself.

          I take your point about moderating your own post. There will also be authors who just don’t have the time. So having back up from other authors sounds essential no matter what else happens.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Mandy is one of our potential superstars.

      It has really bugged me that we have had some really capable female bloggers such as Mandy and Stephanie and a few others but they have felt that uncomfortable that they have decided not to post.

      I understand the problem with trolls and others. I am indifferent to them in part because I work at a job where I have to represent people who have issues every day and I have learned to go with the flow.

      TS authors were worried a while ago that the likes of Mandy and Steph found the place so unpleasant. One option was to have a three tier system, the first like daily mike everything goes as long as it meets the basic rules, the second the usual rules where you have to stick to the current rules, and a third where posts were moderated so that comments had to be released and if the commenter was being a bit of an idiot their comment would not be allowed through.

      I think this would start to address concerns. It is not a particular TS problem though, any post on Facebook and Twitter has similar ability to descend into chaos.

      • weka 4.2.1

        I’m thinking in particular about one of those last shit storms that Stephanie had to endure where she got attacked as an author despite this being against one of the clear rules of the site. At the time I thought she should just have shut those people down despite that being one of the reasons she was being attack (for her moderation). But if they then take it to OM and continue to attack her and she has to deal with shit in her inboxes as well, then why should she bother?

        In that instance I think some solid moderation from other authors was required. Someone who as going to step in, put sharp warnings in place across the board, and then remove comments that broke the rules. No dilly dallying around. That’s just my perspective from the commenting side watching the dynamics (and having been involved in moderation processes on other communities). Stephanie is the one to ask about what would have worked for her personally.

        edit, When I’ve talked about this in the past I’ve acknowledged that my suggestions involve extra work for the authors/moderators and so have accepted that it might not be possible. But I think the site is at the point where it needs to put its money where its mouth is. If there aren’t enough moderators then recruit some. And it might be that if the existing moderators put in the time now, you will get more authors who will then take some of the load off.

        • mickysavage 4.2.1.1

          The problem is time. We are all happy amateurs. R0b does extraordinary work and I try and get posts up as quickly as I can but it is a case of resources. RL is one of our better moderators but it really is a case of people diving in when they have the opportunity to do so.

        • lprent 4.2.1.2

          When I’ve talked about this in the past I’ve acknowledged that my suggestions involve extra work for the authors/moderators and so have accepted that it might not be possible. But I think the site is at the point where it needs to put its money where its mouth is. If there aren’t enough moderators then recruit some. And it might be that if the existing moderators put in the time now, you will get more authors who will then take some of the load off.

          Moderators are a lot harder to train up than authors. They have to be able to confront and deal with people and keep doing it over and over again and above all – ignore criticism.

          The type of authors who get wound up by comments are generally pretty bad at ever being able to moderate adequetely – they lack the balance required. What you are advocating effectively pushes more support work onto a smaller group of authors.

          • weka 4.2.1.2.1

            Yes I’m aware of that (and have been involved in setting up moderation processes in an online community). My point was that perhaps it’s time to put the energy into getting new mods trained and on board, either as authors, or solely as mods, and that this time and effort might pay off in the medium term by having a bigger pool of moderators.

            Might not work either, depending on who would step up. I don’t see a lot of people putting their hands up to help.

            Moderators are a lot harder to train up than authors. They have to be able to confront and deal with people and keep doing it over and over again and above all – ignore criticism.

            True. I also think that some finely targeted moderation can be very effective. I’ve seen Red do this, and someone else (BLiP?), Bill too on occassion and micky. Short, sharp warnings, with quick and fairly lethal follow up if ignored. It stops the trolling dead and doesn’t take a lot of moderator input (at least from the front end view).

            The times where that has gone off the rails it looks to me like there’s been too much tolerance for attacking authors or moderators for their decisions (and commenters really need to learn the difference between attacking an author/moderator and critiquing or querying a moderation decision).

            • Lanthanide 4.2.1.2.1.1

              As far as new mods go, I’ve been around here forever and I think you know me well enough by now. Obviously I show no inclination of being an author but I could do modding, at least in a helping role. Offer’s on the table anyway.

          • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.2.2

            I used to mod for a reasonably busy gamer type news and reviews website.

            Basically I think you can see an authors mod style from the way they mod their own posts.

            How much leeway they give commentators, whether they let discussions run or try to channel and control them more, and whether or not their mod decisions have the respect of the commentators in the post.

          • Bill 4.2.1.2.3

            You might reasonably say that a certain amount of doggedness is required to moderate…I guess. And it’s possible that you’ll take unwarranted hits for some moderating decisions and yes, you have to sail through them. But see this bit about ignoring criticism? That’s bullshit.

            That’s claiming a licence to thoughtlessly do whatever you want, whenever you want. And if the person claiming the license is some kind of dangerous idiot then, by your way of viewing moderation, that’s just fine. They are, by the mere dint of being appointed moderator status, above and beyond reproach…even the reproach of other moderators. Crazy territory.

            • greywarshark 4.2.1.2.3.1

              Bill
              I agree with that query about criticism of a moderator being ignored.
              I feel that I understand where lprent is coming from, you have to develop a thickish skin and not get het up that there is criticism, but it should be answered. There could be a use of the opinion sampling chart with 5 levels, for moderation specific to the post, say – Hard to Relaxed. Then people know what to expect. That would leave the excessive ones nowhere to go and moan to when they were moderated out.

      • weka 4.2.2

        “One option was to have a three tier system, the first like daily mike everything goes as long as it meets the basic rules, the second the usual rules where you have to stick to the current rules, and a third where posts were moderated so that comments had to be released and if the commenter was being a bit of an idiot their comment would not be allowed through.”

        How much more or less work is tier three than say being around to moderate tier two but more closely?

        “I think this would start to address concerns. It is not a particular TS problem though, any post on Facebook and Twitter has similar ability to descend into chaos.”

        The big difference is that FB and Twitter users can filter other users. Plus the focus is different on a blog. So the control here on ts is with the moderators not the commenters. If the commenters had more control we’d have more pile ones and much more segregation of discussions (at least that’s the impression I get from twitter). I think it’s a lot less personal here too in the sense that people generally aren’t talking about their lives so much, so when shit happens it’s usually personality clashes and such that don’t involve the degree of personalised attacks that happen on twitter and FB.

      • Olwyn 4.2.3

        I would not like to see any of the current authors sidelined over posts that have caused contention, and I do not think The Standard is broken. I think the diversity of opinions here is valuable, and I have never seen a single post written in obvious bad faith. That said, it might be a good idea to announce that such-and-such a post will be strictly moderated where the author wants the discussion to stay within set bounds. From what I have seen, people tend to be more affronted by a leftie who disagrees with them than they are by an obvious troll, but you can’t demand that others will wholly see eye to eye with you, and making such a demand is not the most effective way of getting them to seriously consider your point of view.

      • greywarshark 4.2.4

        mickysavage
        Your idea sounds good. Why doesn’t it get approved and put into practice this month. I have been suggesting ideas for some time mainly to limit the RW content but never seem to get listened to or get turned down because not necessary, not worthwhile, it’s okay, not this or that.

        I have been in organisations that have gone down the drain that have responded to ideas that are practical with the same ‘insouciance’. If keen people who want to appeal to a wider audience of the thinking public constantly get the brick wall treatment then the result is that the entity never achieves maximum effect. And it can die away. Gardening analogy, the weeds take over and strangle the useful plants.

    • lprent 4.3

      The underlying problem relates to how the site operates and what it is for…

      What I hoped for was intelligent discussion on how to fix the myriad issues we are facing, not point scoring.

      There are sites around that do operate largely like that. Pundit and Public Address operate in a pretty polite, intellectual manner, and respectful manner. However they are often pretty boring and horribly middle class – at least to me. They don’t get to the nub of problems, in my view they usually tiptoe politely around the basic conflict issues that cause them to be problems. They also wind up as the type of group think that never does much about the issues.

      By having the site wide open to comments, we invite a wide range of comments and the actual conflicts get expressed in whatever terms they can be.

      We also allow people to increase their commenting skills. New commenters tend to be pretty damn bad one way or another – from obnoxious trolling to dead boringly earnest. They just aren’t good at writing or expressing themselves in a way that communicates. The site means that we help people to start learning to communicate because most styles of writing are accepted – for a time anyway.

      The ideas do get discussed. They just come with the cost of dealing with people who disagree.

      That is why the policy concentrates on extreme behaviours, The selection pressures from other commenters and eventually moderators about behaviour are usually quite strong. But if we stomp too strongly then no-one has time to learn better behaviours themselves. There are some obvious developmental analogies…

      • travellerev 4.3.1

        Iprent,

        How about proving that point? In March I made number 15 on the open parachute’s list of blogs. Not bad for a woman writing controversially about geopolitics. Why not court that and invite me to write some posts. It will never be boring. Break the consensus and let’s face it; what I have been writing about and dismissed as conspiracy thinking is becoming painfully clear to be actually bloody reality!

        • Chooky 4.3.1.1

          +100 travellerev…I would like to see Posts from you!…you are radical enough for me!… and thought- provoking enough…direct enough …and truth seeking enough

          …as far as i can see the Standard is NOT broken…women can contribute when they like…if they have the time or inclination…i dont find The Standard sexist at all and the moderating is pretty good as a whole, with one or two notable exceptions

          (…you have to be pretty robust …and bullying and false accusations can be made eg “rape apologist” when defending Julian Assange ( which was pretty bloody PC gone mad and uneducated about the issues …and pathetic imo..and resulted in a walk- out and picket )…but this applied equally to males and females…so no sexism here)

          …maybe INVITED GUEST POSTERS from prominent women would be good to encourage more new women to the site…and even overseas women activists/politicians…

          (after a while here you know what various regulars think …and a boredom factor can set in when contemplating thrashing out the same old things time after time)

    • Just wanted to second your suggestion on the Interregnum.

      It is an inspiring and positive read from the premise of the title to the last essay on the politics of love and pretty much everything between.

      If there was more debate and discussion on some of the latest thinking I’d be back here more often.

      Today for example this was published. What does Blockchain mean for NZ
      https://hbr.org/2016/05/the-impact-of-the-blockchain-goes-beyond-financial-services

  5. Rofl, rofl, rofl! TRP As a woman, I think you’re so full of shit it’s not funny anymore!
    Having had to deal with your bigotry, misogyny and ignorance over the 10 years I have been commenting here I suggest you do the right thing and give your place to an intelligent, open minded women of a certain age. One who has lived a couple of lives and has the strength to deal with the likes of you in a wise and correcting way. A Mater familias if you like. Maybe then the Veitchy drivel above will ring true!

    I concur with Mandy Hager. She, unlike me, has the patience to write in a gentle, compassionate and loving manner. Maybe she can be that Mater familias here. I would love to see more of her writing here!

  6. Paul 6

    The problem on the Standard is the amount of nasty comments by right wing trolls.
    getting rid of them would improve the Standard.

  7. Michael 7

    Full disclosure: I’m male, and I don’t intend to speak for (or over) the women and non-binary people on this blog. But I figured I’d offer my two cents.

    It’s important that as progressives, we ensure all of our spaces are safe for everyone – regardless of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or disability. We must ensure that we oppose hate speech and intimidation in all forms. Equity is important, and we must be vigilant to ensure it is respected.

    I would recommend:

    1. Recruit more women (and non-binary) writers, to ensure that there is a diverse range of perspectives represented – ideally at least half of articles would be written by women and non-binary people.
    2. Take a more vigilant stance against hate speech in the comments. Remove any comments which are hateful, offensive, intimidating, especially on the grounds of sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability. There should be no tolerance for intolerance, particularly sexist (or extremely anti-feminist) comments.
    3. Listen to women’s comments before listening to mine!

  8. weka 8

    My suggestion is that we need to look again at the structures of the Standard, from the ‘owners’, through the moderators and onto the authors. The undemocratic, male dominated and authoritarian ownership structure of the Standard is fundamentally wrong for a left blog. There are moderators who do little or no blog writing, don’t contribute much in the comments, but hang on grimly to their tools of power and control. There are authors who are bigots, authors who hate the left, authors who hate women. One author is all of the above. Why are they here on a left wing blog?

    And there is an author who has driven away more regulars than anyone else. See how that works? I found your treatment of marty especially problematic, and your moderation is uneven at best. If it’s ok to say toss out some authors, why should you stay? (TRP suggested in a thread earlier that a bunch of authors should be ditched).

    I’ve spoken out against Red’s post on Veitch (and challenged him on gender issues in threads in the past). But those threads aside, he brings value to the site on other topics and he’s a pretty good moderator. CV, who I disagree with more than I agree with these days, writes posts that are usually a good contribution to the site (having him not be an author won’t change his commenting behaviour). I’m just naming them because they are the most obvious to me, I don’t know who you are referring to in the whole list, but even writing such a list is problematic and likely to create conflict. How do you think things are going to go after such a list?

    I don’t perceive The Standard authors as particularly authoritarian, although again, if we are finger pointing, I would probably say you are one of the more authoritarian ones. However it’s going down amongst the authors/moderators, is that something that can be discussed here or should you be dealing with that in private?

  9. I was in contact with one of the authors here earlier today, and he suggested that perhaps I could write a post about the two contentious posts from today and yesterday, and what they said about The Standard.

    To be honest, I’m not up for it, because I don’t think I could stand the abuse I would get, from people, mostly but not only men, who call themselves progressive. And even though The Standard has kindly published a couple of my pieces about tax, I don’t comment here much, because the vitriol in the comments section is just not worth it. And I’m not usually likely to hold back on having an opinion.

    When the authors list and the comments section are so very thoroughly dominated by men, then this is not an inclusive progressive forum.

    I think the authors list needs to be curated. There seem to me to be some authors who are only still here because they’ve always been here, or because they were brought on board to stop them being a pain in the neck in the comments section. Perhaps authors here should be reasonably open about who they are. There are a few authors here that I always read, and interestingly, I know who all of them are in real life because they are reasonably open about their identity, even if they use a handle. Perhaps that openness to being identified makes their posts more reasoned and reasonable.

    The comments sections need to be curated too. That means actively managing the commenters, and banning those who are too disruptive and horrid. Nothing wrong with a good reasoned exchange of views with a right wing thinker, but when it’s lefties arguing about who is purest? Really, that adds nothing. And when people argue with gendered insults and dubious appeals to gender essentialism and the like… well, that adds even less than nothing.

    Perhaps fewer posts each day, and a lighter workload expectation for authors would help. Perhaps authors who only pop up occasionally should be asked to leave, or to offer posts as guest posts rather than having a full author / moderator roll.

    I’m not sure who holds the ultimate authority here, in terms of admitting and dismissing authors, whether it’s one or two people, or a small group of people, or the whole collective. But if you’re not prepared to do the work of curating authors and comments, then perhaps this blog will end up just being a men’s club. So be it, but then it’s not a progressive blog, nor a blog that can claim in any sense to be a voice of the labour movement in the 21st century.

    Many thanks to Te Reo Putake for putting up this post, and for admitting that he’d gotten things wrong in the past, and was trying actively to understand and change. And for inviting those of us who are not regulars to talk about why we’re not regulars, and why we don’t post here, and what might be done to make things better. And for his excellent post about Tony Veitch yesterday.

    • weka 9.1

      Hi Deborah, can you please explain more what you mean by this?

      “Perhaps authors who only pop up occasionally should be asked to leave, or to offer posts as guest posts rather than having a full author / moderator roll.”

      I’m thinking of some of the authors like KJT who only post rarely but have made important contributions to the site. There are quite a few others too who don’t post regularly but who I wouldn’t want to see demoted.

      I think there are different levels of authorship (not all authors have the same moderation rights).

      btw, I can’t comment nor guest post if I have to use my RL name. Requiring people to use RL IDs really limits who can write. In terms of authors I don’t see a line of reasonableness between those that are out and those that aren’t. I can see how it can make for more trust with those who know each other, but I’m not sure the trade off would be worth it.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      Shit, you’ve just suggested a lot of work and management activities for everyone else to do, and then told them that if they don’t do it, The Standard will probably fail.

      Thanks Deborah. Now, how many hours a week would you like to contribute to this great effort? (Note that it’s an unpaid volunteer position).

      [Deleted. Not needed.TRP]

    • Rosemary McDonald 9.3

      @ Deborah Russell

      “Perhaps authors here should be reasonably open about who they are. There are a few authors here that I always read, and interestingly, I know who all of them are in real life because they are reasonably open about their identity, even if they use a handle. Perhaps that openness to being identified makes their posts more reasoned and reasonable.”

      All that…and a confession that I have real issues with the anonymity thing. (And I risk saying this as I have been slapped for it..)

      Easy to be a total nong from behind a false ID.

      • weka 9.3.1

        “Easy to be a total nong from behind a false ID.”

        Paul Henry, Cameron Slater, Mike Hoskins 😉

        It’s true that if I were using my RL name I would be less rude at times. But there is also a lot of political discussion I just wouldn’t take part in. Many people are not safe to talk politics online openly, for all sorts of reasons.

        We’re not anonymous, we’re pseudonymous. I’m not trying to be smart there. Having a consistent handle, esp across platforms, does mean that people are more accountable on what they say than if they were anonymous.

        • Carol Stewart 9.3.1.1

          Re the anonymous/pseudonymous point you make: really, what difference does it make? What are the reasons that people hide behind pseudonyms? Anonymity is the primary reason the internet can be a vile and hateful place – people feel free to say all kinds of appalling stuff they simply wouldn’t say if they were more accountable for it.
          You mention Paul Henry and co as visible examples of total nongs – but the point is that they are held to account for their views. Such as the current broadcasting complaint about Mike Hosking.
          I came to a decision some time ago that I would never put a comment on the internet that I wasn’t prepared to own and be accountable for, and I have no regrets. Until more people do the same, I stay away from most places like this one.

          • Rosemary McDonald 9.3.1.1.1

            “I came to a decision some time ago that I would never put a comment on the internet that I wasn’t prepared to own and be accountable for, and I have no regrets.”

            Ditto.

          • lprent 9.3.1.1.2

            Generally we find that people here accept me and the other moderators as an acceptable substitute. We try not to get in the way of debate, but we do get in the way of bad behaviour – usually quite abruptly.

            We find the immediate feedback is quite good at indicating bad behaviour on this site to even the most recalcitrant. Whereas what you are advocating can take years or even decades to induce a change in those who delight in bad behaviour. After all the legal system is still trying to educate Cameron Slater after a decade of stupid bad behaviour.

            What we permit and don’t permit is roughly outlined in the policy. How close people want to head to the bounds is determined by their acceptance of risk. The biggest risk is that while we outline the bounds of acceptable behaviour, we leave it completely up to the moderator about how they exert the sites authority to constrain bad behaviour. We find this unpredictability induces a tertian degree of caution.

          • Anne 9.3.1.1.3

            It annoys me when people like you Carol Stewart take a ‘holier than thou’ stand over pseudonyms when you/they have clearly never been on the receiving end of sociopathic bosses, jealous associates or other sinister individuals who get their kicks out of harassing and threatening people they perceive to be enemies. People who are (or have been ) involved in political parties like Labour and the Greens are particularly vulnerable to this kind of behaviour and there will be quite a few commenters on this site who can attest to having been targeted at some time in their lives. That is why some of us have no choice but to use pseudonyms instead of our real names.

            • Carol Stewart 9.3.1.1.3.1

              Anne – I can understand compelling reasons for anonymity. But doesn’t it seem to you to be a bit overused, when by far the majority of commenters choose this option? That is my point, not trying to be holier than thou.

              • Anne

                No. I don’t believe it is overused. I only gave you a few of the reasons why people wish to keep their identities to themselves. It can be to do with family concerns – the safety and well being of children, siblings, even parents or grandparents. Some may hold positions of authority in either the public or private sector and their identities becoming known could undermine their work. Others may enjoy taking part in a site like TS but still wish to maintain a wholly private life. All of them valid reasons for using a pseudonym.

                On the other hand, there are others who, by reason of their relatively secure circumstances, are happy to be known by their real names. That’s fine, but just remember lots of people are not so lucky and have had experiences (eg. a past abusive relationship) which make them feel less secure.

              • Colonial Viper

                What do you mean by anonymity being “overused”?

                Do you also think that “privacy” is also overused?

                Also – why should everyone here on TS change for you?

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “Overused”… if from behind the safe wall, shit can be slung with impunity.

                  And no real accountability.

                  Someone commented earlier (forgive me for not properly identifying that person) that we should not say here what we would not say in person.

                  Kanohi ki kanohi.

                  So…my defense against some of the mindless shitslinging from anonymous commentors is not to take what they write seriously.

                  Which kinda defeats the purpose of them saying it in the first place.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    How is this not simply a different version of the establishment’s frequently used “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” meme around privacy and the surveillance state.

                    There are plenty of pseudonymous blogs around the internet where the conversation is far more respectful and far less crude.

                    I’m quite happy to push for moderating standards which set that bar as the norm, but losing pseudonymous commenting and authorship on The Standard would rapidly disable the site, IMO.

                  • weka

                    It’s true that I say things as weka that I wouldn’t say if I used my RL ID. But that’s not just being rude or confrontational. It also applies to political analysis and sharing of ideas and information.

                    I don’t think it’s an issue of accountable*. How can I hold Carol accountable, I have no idea who she is. And I hold people on ts accountable for their words and actions on a daily basis (I’m a head prefect apparently 😉 ). Nothing to do with knowing who they are in RL.

                    Plenty of people doing bad shit with their RL names attached too.

                    * so much as people being afraid to say what they really want to say. In some cases that’s a very good thing, in others it’s a big loss.

                • Carol Stewart

                  No reason at all why TS should change. i’m just saying that for me it is a barrier to participation.

          • greywarshark 9.3.1.1.4

            Carol S
            It depends what you want to say. whether a pseudonym is useful or necessary. If you are challenging the status quo and there are people who would not agree with you, your parents, your employer, your best friend then it may be a good idea to have one.

            You might consider euthanasia a good thing but your parents would be upset and doubt your love and concern for them. Or someone does not agree with the opinion you hold and can withhold advantages from you, like a job, a wage rise, a promotion, a position for your partner or child, then you would be a foolish or cruel person to publish your opinion under your own name.

            You might be prepared to take disagreement and disadvantage on the chin yourself, be accosted in the street or at social gatherings by someone incensed or showing dislike, but would you want to harm others of your family and friends through it.

            Really it is amazing to me how superior and insensitive to reality people like yourself can be. And a pseudonym is an alternative name that you use for opinions, a ‘pen-name’. Others get to know your name and have an idea as to what your style is. Some here remember with regret commenters who aren’t around any longer. Never knew them personally but enjoyed reading them. Also, and this is often overlooked, someone can appear to be using their own name, but how do the rest of us know if it is true.Are you actually named Carol Stewart? There is more than one Judith Collins around I am sure. We have someone here called Tony Veitch who has chosen to use his own name but has to distinguish himself from the broadcaster.

            • Carol Stewart 9.3.1.1.4.1

              I think the reason why I can’t be bothered to engage with anonymous people is that there is immediately a power imbalance in any interaction. I have absolutely no idea who you are. I am exactly who I say I am; it’s my real name; I have a consistent avatar; you can google me if you want to. I’m more comfortable interacting with others who do the same. That’s all.

              • weka

                How do we know that that is your real name?

                Along with the other reasons give, many women choose to use pseudonyms to avoid harassment. Harassment of politicised women is routine. People with disabilities are at risk (what Rosemary said), as are beneficiaries. I wrote an explanation a few years ago. Read the post too and the links, they all talk about this in the context of ts.

                Hi Guyon!

                • weka

                  “you can google me if you want to.”

                  I just did that, and Firefox showed me that one of the commonest hits is ‘carol stewart obituary’.

                  You might think that your name means something, but we have no idea who you are so in this place it means significantly less to everyone else than you think.

              • miravox

                I would never have commented if I had to use my real name – as an person lacking in confidence, who has difficulties in communicating, a pseudonym has allowed me to have a voice.

                You clearly have a more confident personality. However, your preference would silence me. My preference does not silence you. That’s a power imbalance.

              • Colonial Viper

                I think the reason why I can’t be bothered to engage with anonymous people is that there is immediately a power imbalance in any interaction.

                1) You understand that internet communities thrive on anonymity yet you invited that power imbalance anyway. By giving up your anonymity in a crowd of anonymous faces, you consciously chose it. So don’t bitch about it after the fact.

                2) You have just falsified your own statement that “I can’t be bothered to engage with anonymous people…” by interacting with a group of us right now. Multiple times.

                Bloody well done you.

                • Carol Stewart

                  OK! I give up! as you were.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  With respect CV…this post is an invitation to women to express their opinion on the ‘safety’ of TS.

                  A woman accepts that invitation in good faith, brings up a particular issue that bothers her (and others), and you flop out the “bitch” word.

                  Top marks.

                  Carol wasn’t saying “change The Standard to suit me”…she was just saying…

                  and now she’s gone…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Someone arguing for vulnerable people to out themselves by dropping their anonymity or pseudonomity and revealing their real world name and identity clearly and obviously has no idea what a “power imbalance” actually is.

                    So it’s no loss that they are gone, whether they are a male or a female holding those views. Views which coincidentally run right against the long established rules of The Standard about suggesting people reveal their names and identities.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      “So it’s no loss that they are gone”

                      I repeat,

                      …this post is an invitation to women to express their opinion on the ‘safety’ of TS.

                      A woman accepts that invitation in good faith, brings up a particular issue that bothers her (and others), and you flop out the “bitch” word.

                      Top marks.

                      Carol wasn’t saying “change The Standard to suit me”…she was just saying…

                      But hey…you’re the boss.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I mean seriously.

                    This issue about anonymity and pseudonyms has come up exactly as Cameron Slater has blatantly reminded all of us again how desperate the right is to reveal who the commentators on The Standard actually are.

                    So that information can be used against us personally and against the Left in general.

                    I really have to shake my head at how this discussion on making Standard commentators and authors out themselves is being entertained for even one millisecond.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      Geezus…where did anyone, anyone say that Standard commentators and authors should ‘out’ themselves?

                      Some of us, because we were asked, said that one of the aspects of the Standard that made us feel (to varying degrees) uncomfortable was the prevalence of pseudonyms used here.

                      Nowhere did I read any demands or ‘bitching’.

                      We tried to explain why…probably poorly…but we tried.

                      And now we’re giving up.

                      Success.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I am exactly who I say I am; it’s my real name;

                And that tells us precisely squat about you. Still wouldn’t know you from a pickle in a jar.

                I have a consistent avatar; you can google me if you want to.

                You can do the same for me.

                Not knowing who the other person is is changing the world. We have to engage with each other rather than writing each other off because of who they are.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “Not knowing who the other person is is changing the world.”

                  Oh, yes. And really makes the world a much safer place.

                  Think about that for a moment, DTB, in this wonderful new cyber world….

              • lprent

                it’s my real name; I have a consistent avatar; you can google me if you want to.

                And we still don’t know you from any other container of salt water. I’d expect that I could find thousands containers named Carol Stewart on the net if I tried. There are at least a hundred Lynn Prentice ones, and that is a much much rarer combination.

                Whereas my email address is unique – otherwise mail doesn’t arrive. And it has lprent as my handle and my logical address too.

                On this site, your handle, ’email address’ and your IP number is very unique to a sysop (ie me) and any moderator. But your stream of commented thoughts and the way you express them is also pretty unique and really close to a signature to anyone who reads as many comments as we do.

                We moderate on those. They are much more unique for you as an adult than some handle your parents gave you when you still didn’t have bowel control.

                I have been writing comments in online forums for more than 3 decades. My personality is highly distinctive to anyone who has been reading me through any part of that period. Mostly that handle has been ‘lprent’, and sometimes Lynn Prentice. But it has always been recognisably me.

                About the only thing online people say when they meet me in real life is that I seem to be a lot calmer. But that is simply because my role is usually quite different. I’m usually trying to get a specific objective achieved. People are either part of it, or I can essentially ignore them. Of course if they get obstructive then they often wind up with a few glimpses of what I think about it as I work around them. On online forums I have a much wider set of purposes. It is easier to spend time just arguing – preferably with some clarity of thinking.

            • Rosemary McDonald 9.3.1.1.4.2

              “Really it is amazing to me how superior and insensitive to reality people like yourself can be. ”

              The reverse can be seen as true.

              Some of us have maybe got to the stage where ‘they’ can do us no further harm. ‘They’ have done their worst.

              Reality bit. Hard.

              We have nothing left to lose. And those dearest to us are with us 100%.

              There are so many in the disability community who are too scared to complain or raise their voices for fear…yes, these are folk who get around in wheelchairs (just to paint a picture for those outside the community) who are genuinely shit scared to speak up in case their already minimal supports are reduced, or they are railroaded into an institution.

              We, my disabled partner and I, have been there/ had that done to us…so we know….we KNOW what they are like, and what they are capable of doing…and we will not let the world be like that while we are still able to protest.

              Loudly, and in our own name.

              Because when they beat our name out of us, our actual identity…then they have won.

              And yes, Greywarshark, some of us have been locked in battle with the government for over a decade…and the government has fought dirty every step of the way.

              (Imagine that, two consecutive governments who chose to deny, lie and deceive to keep disabled New Zealanders firmly in their place and deny, through legislation, rights they had fought successfully for.)

              This is our reality.

              Coming into spaces like this is not a game.

              Not merely a way to fill in an evening or a slow weekend.

              Its serious.

              • greywarshark

                Rosemary McDonald
                The problem is that this blog needs to discuss the whole political situation, inform and advise on NZs place in the world and what our politicians are doing, There are few places on the web where intelligent analysis and reliable information can be found. One of the reasons that NZ is in the terrible state we notice, is that we didn’t notice it enough earlier on. If we don’t keep on track now, looking for ways to shift the inertia, the cloudy half-drunken bonhomie of falsity, and the obvious but ignored rorting and criminality we will lose everything we ever valued about our country..

                The disabled community being pushed to one side are just part of the social welfare degradation and sidelining that is central to the present politicians ideas of a nation on the right track. That track has markers with dollar signs along the way that increase in amount as it is travelled. Disabled people just get in the way of a smooth progress along this highway. The campfire song for these money maniacs, is ‘I’ll take the high road, and you’ll take the low road, And I’ll get to base before ye.’ You know this, and I know this.

                And that is where I think you and/or others should take up the idea of having some separate posts as mentioned here by others. This would be a forum within the TS blog for people with disabilities to discuss their problems, exchange ideas on how to cope and how to gain assistance etc. It would be a valuable information tool helpful, supportive and co-operative for those with problems, for those who want to know what they are, for those who want to help. It would not be tied to any particular organisation and would not be in fear of losing funding for negative input about an actual organisation, method, the government etc. Probably only the usual rules of reasonably good language and behaviour would apply. How about it? Then you could talk closely with interested people for maximum value of useful information between you. Also you could go onto the main blog and inform about activities and policies needed, or provided, or being withdrawn, or done overseas, or visiting lecturers with new methods. I think it would be very good for all.

                • greywarshark

                  Rosemary McDonald
                  The comments that I refer to about a change to the blog to have separate posts (I don’t quite understand how but they sound promising new measures) are from Micky Savage at 4.1.1 and 4.2.

                  Micky what do you think of my idea if Rosemary et al think it would be good?

                  • greywarshark

                    @Mickey Savage
                    What would be the next step to seeing if this idea that you referred to could be done? Rosemary has expressed interest and put forward idea.
                    I guess the women advocating for change would be interested in shaping, consulting about its style and moderating closely so all felt safe. Do you have a system that could be followed to enable input and then get it set up?

                    The comment repeated below contains your original comments with possibilities for options for special interest posts.
                    Rosemary McDonald
                    The comments that I refer to about a change to the blog to have separate posts (I don’t quite understand how but they sound promising new measures) are from Micky Savage at 4.1.1 and 4.2.
                    Micky what do you think of my idea if Rosemary et al think it would be good?

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  There are, I assume, disabled people here on TS who would be qualified to discuss a separate disability issues posts space.

                  They well may be here anonymously, as even on ‘the left’ there can be prejudice, and subtle discrimination.

                  A ‘space’ where it would be safe to discuss disability issues sounds like a good idea in principal…care would need to be taken in case disability issues are sent there…as if those issues do not have a valid place within discussions on the whole political situation and are not relevant in any intelligent analysis.

                  (A space to anonymously name and shame crap contracted providers within the MOH:DSS system would be awesome. Labour, bless their little cotton whatsits, cut their neoliberal teeth on this group of Kiwis, and it has not been a painless process. The Natz has ramped it up to the nth degree.)

          • weka 9.3.1.1.5

            “You mention Paul Henry and co as visible examples of total nongs – but the point is that they are held to account for their views”

            The point I was making is that those people use their RL names and they still are arseholes towards other people (I disagree that they are held to account for their views, but that’s another debate). If the rationale for not using pseudonyms is to make the internet a more pleasant place, I’m just pointing out that power and privilege have a much to do with it.

    • McFlock 9.4

      I especially liked the point about fewer posts each day – posts at TS routinely outnumber the posts on some commercial, paid staff blogs I read. Heck of a moderation workload.

      • swordfish 9.4.1

        For me, the number and variety of daily posts on The Standard are what makes the site so dynamic and compelling*. I’d hate to see it routinely fall to just a couple of posts each day.

        * Along with the unrivalled graphic design and features of the blog, superior to any other NZ site as far as I’m concerned.

  10. TTD 10

    bloody peoples judean liberation front!
    wreckers

    • weka 10.1

      yeah, but the people’s liberation front of Judea are the real rabble rousers 🙁

      • Richardrawshark 10.1.1

        I’m scrolling through a really good set of replies and idea’s and then this…

        You wouldn’t by any chance be a member?

        Classic N1 made me chuckle.

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          More of a passing appreciation 🙂 I do feel like breaking out a rousing rendition of this though 😉

  11. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    @Mandy We all know what the issues are – in fact they all boil down to greed (either materially or power, or both) – but unless we can stop bitching at each other and actually start coming up with concerted action for the cause of good – and by this I mean generosity compassion and love – then what is the point?

    That sums it up for me. I think that our sense of political powerlessness tends to drive us to petty point scoring which simply erodes the energy and enthusiasm that we need to put to better constructive use. Somehow, we need to provide a vision of a better NZ that will inspire people to get out and vote for a government which has a better, fairer, more ethical approach and an action plan for a sustainable future for all.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

    Buckminster Fuller

    Let’s continue to debate by all means but with respect and let our arguments stand on their merit.

    Edit. However, I will be fighting the TPP all the way, because we could design a better alternative.

  12. Jenny Kirk 12

    I’m intrigued that some women (and I’m assuming you’re women) have a problem with TRP, and I’m wondering if just sometimes there’s a misconstruction of what someone is trying to say and that then becomes the point of the argument and not the topic. Not everyone has the ability to say what they really mean, in writing (and not even when speaking at times).
    That aside, the things I find objectionable on The Standard is the sheer bloddy rudeness of some people to others, the abuse it degenerates down to, the pettiness and petulance and the unwillingness to see another point of view – this of course is particularly relevant to rightwing trolls. I’ve learned to skip past those until I come across someone saying something I can relate to.
    But to get back to TRP’s query – time must be an issue for a lot of women – in fact, I don’t know how some of you manage to get any paid work done (let alone anything else) because so much time seems to be spent on discussion on The Standard.

    • ropata 12.1

      One of Helen Kelly’s first posts to TS was well written, thoughtful, and from the heart. About 45 minutes later a RW troll came along and wrote something awful earning himself a spell in the sin bin. But the damage was done — the shots had been fired.

      The first item on TechNet’s “How to build Community” is: Don’t do the things that destroy community. Duh. We don’t want an Israel/Palestine conflict here.

      I understand the Left is facing some massive challenges now, and people come here to let off steam, but perhaps the ban hammer needs to be applied more strictly to certain kinds of behaviour, from any side of a debate. (I am guilty of dabbling in mud slinging too)

      • weka 12.1.1

        What is that second link meant to be ropata?

        • ropata 12.1.1.1

          Some quotes about the destructive potential of ill spoken words…
          “The tongue is a world of iniquity.”
          “The artillery of words.” etc.

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            and good advice too,

            Restrain thy mind, and let mildness ever attend thy tongue.

            A fool’s heart is in his tongue; but a wise man’s tongue is in his heart.

            The tongue is, at the same time, the best part of man and his worst; with good government, none is more useful, and without it, none is more mischievous.

  13. The lost sheep 13

    IMO there could be a simple moderating rule: If a comment would not be considered acceptable in a ‘real world’ public forum that had people from all across the social spectrum engaged, then don’t let it be acceptable here?

    But, it seems to me, the majority of authors and commenters here are on a different plane, and yes, it is primarily a white male aggressive fuck you macho shout over you beat you into submission with my club kind of vibe, regardless of whether the individual cavemen are painting themselves with red or blue pigments.

    But what does IPrent say?
    That’s the be all and end all?
    It’s his game, and if you don’t like the way he wants it played you can simply go somewhere else?

  14. RedLogix 14

    I am now firmly allocated to the role of persecutor to be punished; and anything I write will likely have someone project their worst imaginings onto it. That’s ok I’ve a reasonable idea of how this game is played and I don’t pretend I can change the rules. But with that in mind, and only a small amount of dot connecting, I invite you trp to consider WHY this topic is important to me.

    And then when you understand, I ask you to consider just how safe I might feel right now.

    Then I will be accused of making myself the victim, despite the shitstorm of wildly untrue allegations made about me here:

    Bigot?

    Enabler?

    Apologist?

    Misogynist?

    Hates the left?

    Hates women?

    Bitter old man?

    I mean really. Does anyone actually believe this? My partner read the thread earlier today and was absolutely floored at these wild imaginings.

    As I was wading through all the reaction, I was struck by how almost none of it actually addressed anything I actually said. A few lines got twisted out of context, but that is to be expected.

    The core argument was simple; every DV expert and document I have read concludes the behaviour which highly predicts risk of violence is an underlying sense of dominance or ownership, and a need to feel in control. And when the control is challenged it manifests as either humiliation or jealousy that when intense enough is extremely destructive.

    And that logically, given both genders are known to be violent in various forms, this is a dynamic both genders play a part in. But at present the current feminist framework almost always constrains the discussion to male violence on females, focuses attention entirely on ‘personal responsibility’, and abhors any discussion of underlying causes.

    Understanding the biological roots of dominance, which still plainly play out in the human psyche, and how these play out in our personal experiences and social constructs would have have helped me enormously when I was struggling with my own abuse. For a start I had no concept that women could be violent, but that aside I had no framework to understand why she might be doing this, no means to predict it, and no sense that it was not normal.

    It took me over a decade to piece together what happened and why I was so helpless at the time. Well for better or worse this is where I am at present; I understand now that it was her intense feelings of ‘loss of control’ which precipitated the attacks. I understand now they were not my fault, and not even really hers at some deep level. And from there I’ve forgiven both her and myself. And I certainly do not hate her. And I guess I was lucky to end up in hospital with only a broken arm and a mild concussion.

    Yet despite the fact I clearly avowed the desirability of avoiding blame when trying to understand human behaviour, many people decided that was exactly what I was doing, and thus completely erasing and dismissing my own experience.

    Now if for all this trp wants me to leave The Standard, please feel free to say so now. You want the purge? The knife is in your hand.

    It’s up to you big boy … yes or no?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      RL, as you know the number one rule is to not give up your power and agency to anyone else. Especially to a dickhead.

      Secondly the real irony is that I have seen so many commentators here forget that absolutely basic f***ing fact and try to put their own stuff on to everyone else. As if that’s ever going to work.

      • weka 14.1.1

        I think it’s really unfortunate that TRP chose to make this personal, and in an inferred way instead of directly. Because now I want to tell the 3 of you to go away and sort out whatever is going down between the authors somewhere else. I don’t think having this out in public will help.

        Red, I’m sorry for the personal shit you’ve experienced in your life, seriously. I’m also sorry that TRP appears to be having a go at you in a shitty backhanded way. But this thread isn’t about you or your views on gender and violence, so please don’t bring that stuff here, it’s just hugely inappropriate.

        • RedLogix 14.1.1.1

          No the thread is absolutely written about me. It was written in response to my TV post .. a post incidentally trp himself invited me to make … and let’s not beat around the bush, he’s named me as the problem he is writing about. He want’s me purged and has explicitly said so.

          So it absolutely appropriate I reply here.

          And in my experience the private authors thread is an wrong place to have this sort of discussion and is even more unsafe than the open threads. I not participated in them on a regular basis for ages.

          • weka 14.1.1.1.1

            yeah well I think it’s a mistake that TRP has conflated those things – getting more women writers with his problem with you (and I assume CV).

            If we separate those things out for a minute, it’s hard to see how you authors can hash that out here without that being a big fucking mess. But it’s up to you all I guess to figure that one out.

            My comment about appropriateness was about the gender politics. It’s really not ok to bring that stuff into a thread that is trying to encourage more women authors. Taking TRP to task for being a dick is fair enough.

            • Tracey 14.1.1.1.1.1

              “yeah well I think it’s a mistake that TRP has conflated those things – getting more women writers with his problem with you (and I assume CV).”

              It is part of the problem weka. Because they are not the only ones that TRP has had a hand in moving on. He will deny this because he doesn’t “get” what he did. It has been explained to him many times and not just by me. But in the past he has not seen anything wrong with how he has behaved and so cannot see himself as part of the problem. Perhaps that has changed. I see some simlarities in his old behavior in the “new” TRP in this thread. I hope he is genuine.

          • Olwyn 14.1.1.1.2

            My initial read of the post was a bit quick, and after seeing your comment I went back and read it again, and now see what you mean. “There are authors who are bigots, authors who hate the left, authors who hate women. One author is all of the above. Why are they here on a left wing blog?”

            That is a low blow indeed! Nothing either you or CV (who others seem to think is also under fire) have said has ever led me to that set of conclusions.

            • Chooky 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Olwyn …plus 100….for the record I have never found RedLogix sexist or anything but exemplary in his comments…CV also …doesnt mean I agree with everything they say however!!!! (TRP is another matter…and should not be pointing the finger at anyone imo)

              ( imo there needs to be more tolerance for dissenting views here…it is PC gone crazy and banning for questioning authority and trivia that drives people away eg Murray Olsen, who was highly intelligent and absolutely always had a valuable pithy contribution to make, but was accused of being a “rape apologist” along with others, for supporting Julian Assange…I think Murray was banned for a short period … imo the accusations were quite ridiculous … and he has never really come back…this is The Standard’s loss)

              …and quite frankly I can feel quite sexist about about many males politically ruling the world and world religions…eg the Catholic Church …there is too much yang power in the world…and it is driving Papatuanuku /Mother Earth/ Gaia and the human race to destruction

          • Lanthanide 14.1.1.1.3

            I haven’t really read all those other threads; I generally stay above all this personal vendetta shit.

            Anyway, I’d rather have you stay on this site and TRP leave if I had a choice. Just my 2c.

          • travellerev 14.1.1.1.4

            Redlogic, He is just trying to get rid of all people of intelligence and insight. Please don;t let him get to you. As a woman I implore you!

          • greywarshark 14.1.1.1.5

            Red Logix
            I do hope you keep writing here because your comments are interesting and you come up with good facts and thoughts. But I think sometimes you keep trying to explain your points to people with cloth ears as the saying goes. Then you should give up. There are times when no amount of explanation or discussion will enable any agreement.

      • travellerev 14.1.2

        Colonial Viper, Can you please contact my through FB PM?

    • Redlogix, DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE! TRP is [Deleted. Pointless abuse. TRP] and if anybody should leave it is him! Thank you for letting us in on the dirty backroom manipulation taking place. DO NOT LEAVE! PLEASE.

    • Wensleydale 14.3

      For what it’s worth, not everyone interpreted your comments in such a melodramatic fashion. Personally, I think what you said made a lot of sense.

      The problem with the Left in general — and this is something I’ve witnessed over the years — is that we eat each other alive. Unlike the Right, who for the most part present a united front, marching in lockstep in single-minded pursuit of their goals (as odious as some of them may be), the Left seems perpetually anchored in a quagmire of internal conflict. I sometimes feel as though I’m subject to the malignant gaze of the Eye of Sauron, which sweeps over us all, vigilantly checking and rechecking our progressive credentials. If you’re not sufficiently supportive of diversity, you’re scum. If you aren’t heard to make the right noises in regard to feminism, you’re scum. If your views on domestic violence deviate from the accepted norm, you’re scum. It’s like the Spanish Inquisition in here sometimes, and woe unto he who treads the Path of the Damned by voicing an alternative, though not necessarily contrary, view.

      What matters to me is social justice. Fairness, equality, tolerance and people just being decent to each other. But the zealotry of a vocal minority often threatens to prevent the evolution of any sort of cohesion. If we remain divided, we’ll accomplish nothing other than to give the opposition exactly what they want — no opposition. I think recent Labour Party history serves as adequate testimony.

      Just my two cents.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.3.1

        Unlike the Right, who for the most part present a united front, marching in lockstep in single-minded pursuit of their goals (as odious as some of them may be), the Left seems perpetually anchored in a quagmire of internal conflict.

        Yes, it’s one of the great ironies of life. How the self-described individualists are better at being collectivists than the people who actually want to build community.

        Of course, once you scratch the surface a bit it becomes obvious that those self-proclaimed individualists are actually outright conformists. National Standards which force everyone to be the same from a young age are just one example.

        • Colonial Viper 14.3.1.1

          ncea conformity for you, international baccalaureate options for them.

      • greywarshark 14.3.2

        Wensleydale
        That is well said. So true it’s funny, so funny it is poignant, so poignant it almost brings tears. Which brings self deprecating laughter. If we keep going round and round, perhaps we will catch up with each other soon, hold hands and feel united.

    • Nic the NZer 14.4

      [Deleted. See my note above. TRP]

  15. r0b 15

    The blog community is what we make it. We have had fantastic women writers here, but never a critical mass at one time. Off the top off my head I recall

    Jenny Michie
    Stephanie Rodgers
    Karol
    Rocky
    Mandy Hager
    Deborah Russell
    Stargazer
    Tracey
    Julie Fairey
    Helen Kelly

    and fantastic commenters (want to be authors?) Weka, Jenny, Anne, Rosemary and many more.

    If you all got together and started writing and moderating at the same time, you could make this place whatever you wanted it to be. And I could retire, which I would enjoy greatly.

    Do it.

    • weka 15.1

      Critical mass is an interesting idea.

      Lynn are you around? Can you set up a space in the back end for women authors to login in to and have discussions on their own?

    • RedLogix 15.2

      Strongly recommend this. An entirely new generation of authors would be a fine thing.

    • Anita 15.3

      The blog is a “loose collective” of authors. Maybe it’s time to start acting like a collective and taking collective responsibility rather than asking women to fix the male dominated space you have created. You, the collective, created this; you, the collective, need to fix it.

      The two things I would suggest:

      1) As a collective group, agree that there will always be at least as many women’s posts as men’s and make it so![1] This is going to be hard; because for a while you are all going to need to be more quiet than you like to be, and you will need to fix that. You will need to go talk to the women you know, the women or comment here, women on other blogs and invite them in; many will say “no”, ask them why and then considering fixing the problem.

      2) As a collective group, apologise for the defense of Tony Veitch and strike it out (or delete it, but I would leave it struck through so that people can see the history of this site). Then apologise to everyone whose energy and voice was wasted yesterday raising their voices to say “no, actually, domestic violence is no ok”. How are we ever going to find energy and time to raise our voices about moving the world forward when we are constantly faced with old battles that need to be fought again.

      This is a collective, this is your space, if you want it to change then you need to change it. Don’t ask us to waste our time and energy fixing your mistakes.

      Anita

      [1] it would be good to have some non-binary people’s voices here too, obviously they’re not contained in the 1:1 formula.

      • lprent 15.3.1

        TS is much more of a cooperative than a collective. That was pretty clear even in the earliest versions of the about. It has to be because of the diverse nature of the people involved and what their interpretations of world are.

        If we wanted to make it a collective, then the first thing to do would be to cut out the diversity (one way or another) to the point where there are common and much simpler objectives that a smaller group of people are signed up for.

        The most common ways this happens is either forcing a single major objective like a business does, purging, authoritarianism, rigid doctrine, or a combination.

        Between reading a lot of history, volunteering, army, business, work and my family and management background I have spent a lot of time thinking about the structures that people work in. I have very few illusions.

        Personally I would prefer to put up with the outbursts of disagreement. It is a lot less work, I meet more interesting people, I learn more, and I have to spend less time pointing out the blindingly obvious pitfalls in front – which in one form or another is what I actually do for a living both for humans and machines.

        Besides I have always found open disagreement to be far more productive. In the long term.

        • The lost sheep 15.3.1.1

          ‘If we wanted to make it a collective, then the first thing to do would be to cut out the diversity (one way or another)’

          But the whole point of TRPs post is that the culture that prevails here does eliminate diversity?

          The ‘one way or other’ that works is by allowing an aggressive and abusive culture pretty much free reign, it means that many groups not comfortable with abuse are poorly represented here. Like Women and Maori are very noticeable by their absence, and dominant white males are way over represented.

          You don’t directly address that Lprent?
          Except to state that you personally like it the way it is?
          I’m fine with that personally, as I’m an aggressive white male who enjoys a bit of a trash talking shit fight.

          Those of you who are looking for something more inclusive have got the point by now I hope?

          • maui 15.3.1.1.1

            +1, I would love to hear from potential new authors like Mandy and Deborah. But without a change of culture or more rigid moderation I can’t see it happening. The adversarial nature of the comments section I would also assume reduces the number of women commenting too.

        • Anita 15.3.1.2

          lprent writes:

          If we wanted to make it a collective, then the first thing to do would be to cut out the diversity (one way or another) to the point where there are common and much simpler objectives that a smaller group of people are signed up for.

          I disagree on two levels

          1) You already have too little diversity, and that is, I think, unplanned and unintended. At least the process you are talking about would be explicit and planned. The co-operative would consider whether women’s voices were important and choose to construct itself in a way which reflected that. The same with other missing voices.

          2) Co-operatives, like collectives, can be diverse or they can be homogenous. They can enjoy and celebrate diversity or they can enjoy similarity of thought. They can be inclusive or exclusive. They can also choose to be diverse in some ways and homogenous in others.

          At the moment the unplanned nature of the collective/co-operative has led to the exclusion of significant sectors and voices. It’s not something that just happened, it happened because the co-operative/collective created a space in which those sectors and voices did not feel welcome or safe, or did not choose to participate for other reasons.

      • lprent 15.3.2

        TS is much more of a cooperative than a collective. That was pretty clear even in the earliest versions of the about. It has to be because of the diverse nature of the people involved and what their interpretations of world are.

        If we wanted to make it a collective, then the first thing to do would be to cut out the diversity (one way or another) to the point where there are common and much simpler objectives that a smaller group of people are signed up for.

        The most common ways this happens is either forcing a single major objective like a business does, purging, authoritarianism, rigid doctrine, or a combination.

        Between reading a lot of history, volunteering, army, business, work and my family and management background I have spent a lot of time thinking about the structures that people work in. I have very few illusions.

        Personally I would prefer to put up with the outbursts of disagreement. It is a lot less work, I meet more interesting people, I learn more, and I have to spend less time pointing out the blindingly obvious pitfalls in front – which in one form or another is what I actually do for a living both for humans and machines.

        Besides which, I have always found open disagreement to be far more productive in the long term. It either clears the air faster, helps with considered change or it causes migration by people to their own ventures. But mostly it makes people individually decide what they are willing to tolerate and what they will contribute to a cooperative without the kind of coercion that a collective seems to require

    • miravox 15.4

      r0b retire? I think that’s the last thing this place needs.

      As much as more women writers and safe spaces are needed, it’s the posts and comments about sexual politics and behaviours that are most at issue, not usually posts on day to day political commentary (barring some comments threads in open mike).

      It seems a bit drastic to make sweeping changes for something that generally works well. As well as tightening moderation on posts that are likely to inflame, I do see the value in a group of women co-ordinating posts so women authors become unexceptional (in the best possible way).

    • greywarshark 15.5

      Don’t ever retire r0b. Just have a few days on a few off when the others who want their hand held now feel strong enough to step up and write. When you are a moderator you can wipe off whoever you don’t like can’t you? Has been done here.

      Personally I don’t want to hear everything from the point of view of one group, Getting a diversity of opinions is interesting . I get brassed off when there is a constant RW sneer or PC dictatorship that nags on. And self-centred sensitivity or repetition, or attacks from a group who jump in and mug collectively.

      Why anyone should not feel safe I don’t know. We are all grown up, not little children, and we aren’t here as a therapy session for damaged people. That does require a more sensitive setting, and preferably a face to face personal setting. I don’t care if people are not always polite about me, it is more the language used and the fairness of the comment that gets me. Sometimes I just let it pass. I like the robustness of comment when it is applied to the topic more than to the person.

      We are looking at the big world out there. Everyone has a slightly different opinion. That they aren’t all going to be acceptable is just a reflection of the diverse and negative things that come across our daily news. But there are limits on what are acceptable so people aren’t allowed to abuse freedom of speech and thought. I complain about so much from RW people who just want to sneer and run down the hopeful policies and examples of failed policies being suffered by ordinary people. To me they bring on a hate-wash to the site. If they could be limited after a period of free rein, and given a break.

      And we can work towards a world where everyone is a little kinder and try to get on with each other and being wary of those who are excessive in their behaviour and beliefs. And what about reading the informative thoughtful posts and not just fill the blog up with rude remarks about Key et al. One person per post saying what a git the politician is and then have an examination of Blip’s list and look at the policies and rorts they are serving up.
      edited

      • Rosemary McDonald 15.5.1

        “Why anyone should not feel safe I don’t know. We are all grown up, not little children, and we aren’t here as a therapy session for damaged people.”

        Yet, many people do not feel safe on TS.

        I’d hazard a guess that the “left” contains a large population of “damaged” people…and I don’t need to explain why. Surely?

        Where can those people go to participate in conversations that one day might lead to overthrowing one of the most abusive administrations New Zealand voters have ever elected?

        Times are dire, and some are desperately trying to make left leaning politicos actually really listen…and we all know there are a few of them who float around here.

        I’m not for a minute suggesting that TS has separate spaces for men, women, intersex and transgender….silly idea.

        But there is a dearth of non-men.

        We have not much time to whip (metaphorically speaking) politicians from the left into some cohesive group so those of us with trust issues can vote them in….and that other lot out.

        We really, really need to get our shit together.

        Recent legal action has shown that TS is perceived as a threat. 😉 Its time to consolidate.

    • Tracey 15.6

      The point being that male authors do not have to do that. They can just post r0b. Time is precious to all of us. No one can moderate all the time. And coordinating such teams to keep a watching brief would be a nightmare for those who work and those whose non working lives are chokka. I am all for solutions, and thanks for this idea r0b.

  16. Anne 16

    I’m intrigued that some women (and I’m assuming you’re women) have a problem with TRP, and I’m wondering if just sometimes there’s a misconstruction of what someone is trying to say and that then becomes the point of the argument and not the topic.

    I’m quite sure that is often the problem Jenny Kirk. And it’s also a problem for Redlogix and CV. All three are highly intelligent, outspoken and honest in expressing their views… but it seems to me those views are sometimes unfairly or incorrectly interpreted. I suspect something similar has happened to karol, Stephanie, Tracey and Mandy which is very sad.

    And you have a point about the matter of time to spare for many women. As they say, a woman’s work is never done and that is true whatever their circumstances may be.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 16.1

      Spot on Jenny Kirk and Anne.

      A woman of my acquaintance (“I may as well have a little go”) opines that women may have more important things to do with their time, which might explain why most blog comments are supplied by white middle-aged males.

      I enjoy the free-flowing intelligent debate that occurs very frequently on The Standard, and really enjoy the (good-humoured) humour, but most valuable is the informative/investigative nature of many posts and comments, and the occasional self-reflection and point-of-view changes they elicit. Even the horrid comments can have an informative and/or humorous dimension.

      I will read The Standard as long as it continues to be informative on issues that matter, and appreciate those trying to improve it. IMHO it’s consistently better than broken. Abolishing anonymity would prevent me from commenting (no loss as I seldom comment and am usually late to the party), but I would remain hooked.

      • Anne 16.1.1

        IMHO it’s consistently better than broken.

        The Standard is far from broken. It will break when the moderators are forced to ban good, solid robust disagreements for fear of hurting a handful of sensitive souls who can’t accept another’s point of view. TRP, Redlogix, CV and indeed other authors have all been recipients of unpleasant abuse because they have dared to ‘bare their souls’ on a particular subject. And yet invariably when you read what they have actually said – not what they are purported to have said – their points are valid and worthy of respect. Redlogix has been the target on this occasion because he dared to express a point of view based on his personal experiences. I applaud him for his courage.

        Gender bullying and intimidation is a profoundly serious problem no matter whether its coming from men or women. Imho, neither takes precedence over the other.

        • Olwyn 16.1.1.1

          The Standard is far from broken. It will break when the moderators are forced to ban good, solid robust disagreements for fear of hurting a handful of sensitive souls who can’t accept another’s point of view. Well said Anne. I agree entirely.

          • weka 16.1.1.1.1

            That’s weird. Given I was one of the people that said I thought Red’s post should be removed, I’ll assume I am one of the sensitive souls who can’t accept another’s pov. Which is just bloody weird, ffs, haven’t you been watching me disagree robustly with people for years?

            To frame this as people who are overly sensitive and thus unable to tolerate dissent is hugely missing the point. It’s also a misrepresentation of what is going on, and the issues that people are pointing to. I’m happy to explain why I personally think there should be tighter moderation, why it has nothing to do with intolerance for dissent, and everything to do with creating an inclusive culture that values a wider ranger of politics than we currently allow here. Not sure that that an interest in clarification is being expressed though.

            • Karen 16.1.1.1.1.1

              +1 Weka
              I don’t have time to write a fuller response at the moment but wanted to let you know that I support what you have written here and in the RL post on TV

            • Olwyn 16.1.1.1.1.2

              If you look again you will see that I was repeating something that Anne had said with approval. My approval was based on a broad, overarching view and was not aimed at you – I know that your comments are often nuanced and that you are unafraid of debate. If you look back on my comment at 4.2.3 you will see that I said there that there is a case for including strongly moderated posts where the author wants to keep the conversation within certain bounds. So I am happy to see moves made to expand TS’s range, without sacrificing the strengths it already has. The problem is that once people start shutting out whatever they don’t like the site starts losing its vitality – look at what happened to Red Alert.

              • weka

                Ok, fair enough. Can you point to some examples that have you concerned people are wanting to start shutting out whatever they don’t like? Because I’m not seeing that and I’d like to know if it’s being proposed. It’s a valid concern, I’d just like to get a better sense of why you think it might happen.

                • Olwyn

                  Well, right here in the original post: “There are authors who are bigots, authors who hate the left, authors who hate women. One author is all of the above. Why are they here on a left wing blog?” It suggests that if you don’t agree with the author, you are not of the left, and if you don’t respond to things in a prescribed way you must be a bigot or a misogynist. That looks to me like an attempt to shut someone down.

                  At the same time, I accept this statement, “We need more women commenting. And we men, we left men, here at TS, we need to make women feel safe, supported and welcome.” However, I reject the implicit idea that those being decried in the first claim are somehow preventing the second from occurring, by making women feel “unsafe.” We are adults here, we use our judgement – we do not have to participate in threads that don’t speak to us. But if we are to continue to engage, we need threads that do speak to us.

                  • weka

                    Ah, ok, I see what you mean now. To me that’s TRP bringing a fight with two (or more) other people from behind the scenes into public. It was inappropriate, and I don’t take his suggestion of a purge seriously, not least because I can’t see anyone else supporting it.

                    I don’t think there is a very good understanding about what is meant by safety here (and I don’t think it’s something that TRP should be commenting on). I see a number of people saying things like it is safe here, or it’s not possible to be safe, or misinterpreting what the safety issues are. I’m considering writing a post about it because there looks to be a lot of misunderstanding. There are safety issues in writing a post about safety, so I’m still in two minds.

                    CV and Red’s actions definitely add to the unsafety here for many women. That isn’t the only safety issue by any means, and I don’t think they should be turfed out of the club either. Both make meaningful contributions to the site, so IMO TRP needs to pull his head in on that one.

                    • Thanks, weka. I’ll try to pull my head in, as you suggest. But the fundamental problem remains if a supposedly left wing site tolerates an author who hates women. The situation isn’t going to approve while we (the authors) are in denial.

                      However, to move on from this post to something more practical. Would a woman only post, men by invite only, be of use? I’m happy to put an ‘open mike’ style post up if there’s support for it. Maybe once a week to start?

                      Would that be in any way useful?

                    • TRP, I have always found Redloxic and Colonial viper to be capable of reasonable open minded interaction with me as a woman. I have found them responsive, curious and whether I agree with their opinion on certain things, even the Veitch issue, I never felt disempowered, patronized or unsafe in my interactions with them. Unlike I have with you.

                      The real bigot and manipulative misogynist in the Pantheon of Standardistas has always been you. The post above may fool some but there are plenty here that won’t be and given time this nasty attempt at destroying the cohesion of the Standard league of writers and the dare I say it Stalinistic type of purge you are trying to enforce will become clear. In the mean time I hope the people I admire I hope will keep hanging on.

                      There will be a post TRP (The voice of reason, my ass) renaissance of the Standard. of this I am convinced.

                      Either that or you will succeed which I will find terribly regrettable but let it be known for the record, the cause will not be Redlogic or Colonial Viper or any of the women who found themselves bullied and pushed out.

                      You are one of the people who encouraged that atmosphere, not RL or CV.

                    • Thanks for your comment, Ev. If you’d read the post, you would have spotted that I’m trying hard to change my ways. I’ve been doing that quietly for months now, with pretty good results.

                      The others, well, they can, and do speak for themselves. The problem remains that a left wing blog that endorse right wing attitudes is always going to have a crippling internal tension. I hope this post makes a difference. Not because of anything I’ve said, but because of what many women such as yourself have said in the comments.

                      I’m really pleased to have engendered this debate, but the answer doesn’t lie with me. It fundamentally lies with the male owners of this site who need to address why this site is still not a safe, welcoming place for women. I haven’t got any indication yet that the penny has dropped for them, but I live in hope.

                      I’m going to trial a women commenters only post on Friday and see how it goes. I hope you’ll contribute.

                    • weka

                      I’m going to trial a women commenters only post on Friday and see how it goes. I hope you’ll contribute.

                      Please don’t. You don’t have a mandate from the women here to do that, and IMO you don’t have the skills to facilitate that well.

                      The ts men will need to change if they want more women to write and comment here. But you cannot decide what is appropriate action for women. It’s not your place to drive this.

                    • weka

                      The problem remains that a left wing blog that endorse right wing attitudes is always going to have a crippling internal tension.

                      Can you please name and link to 4 posts on ts this year that have endorsed right wing attitudes? Because I don’t understand what you are referring to.

            • Anne 16.1.1.1.1.3

              Don’t read too much in to the “sensitive soul” remark weka. It was a very general comment and not related to any specific person or issue.

              And no… you are most definitely not one of the sensitive souls. You are a well informed commentator who is not afraid to express your opinions and I have always respected you – and more often than not agree with you.

              • weka

                Cheers Anne.

                • Chooky

                  weka…although I sometimes vigorously argue with you ( and find you like a Head Prefect)….you are very important to The Standard imo …you are very intelligent and exacting and inquisitorial…despite being a little inflexible imo and too PC at times

                  (btw: imo you should Not have banned Clem , even for a short time…like children, sometimes people are better to ignore if they are challenging you over silly things)

                  pu is another who should not have been banned imo…better to have ignored him when he got excessively obsessive…he was good entertainment value imo …and I liked his writing style…come back Phil Ure!

                  btw…this is like a big encounter group…we should be focusing on jonkey nactional and his slimy deceptions and lies

                  • weka

                    I have exactly zero power to ban anyone on ts. All I have is the ability to submit posts.

                    From what I remember, Clem got a ban for breaking the rules of the site after being warned. Nothing to do with challenge over silly things, it was about derailing threads. This place would function a lot better if more people were able to tell the difference.

          • Anne 16.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Olwyn.

  17. adam 17

    So TRP – Where were you when Penny has been attacked? Where were you when Weka has been attacked? Where were you when Stephanie was being attacked? Where were you when Tracey was being attacked? Are you not a moderator? Can’t you jump in and add some comments in black?

    The only commentators I see do that regularly on sexist crap comments are Bill, r0b and mickysavage. lprent generally comes in at the end of the day with a big stick.

    TPR, is this your new way to get rid of Colonial Viper, a nice kinder way? Not like the way you have hounded other people from this site? It feels a bit rich, as I find you quite authoritarian, and you personify the “my left or the highway” attitude the worst for me on this site.

    Is this a new way to have a purge? A new Stalinist approach to the standard? Because if this had come from any other author I would give it more credence, as it is you – all I’m seeing is games and double speak.

    How about you stomp on some of the sexist crap that is uttered on this site daily, rather than try a back door to shut people down. How about you take responsibility for sexist attitudes and issues of ideological purity before they get out of hand?

    It’s not broken, it just reflects society. Seeing as we are are a realisation of Britishness, I’ll leave you with the always brilliant Germaine Greer.

    “English culture is basically homosexual in the sense that the men only really care about other men.”

    • weka 17.1

      I think TRP can only moderate his own posts (is that right TRP?). For some of the other authors it is the same.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        That is correct. TRP used to be a full mod, but that is now not the case.

      • Tracey 17.1.2

        He was able to moderate my posts when I was an Author. I could only post my own.

    • Where was I, adam? Why, I was saying pretty much the same thing when those things were going on:

      All Apologies

      • Tracey 17.2.1

        Chuckle @ Where was I, adam?

        Why, you were passively aggressively attacking and misrepresenting the truth of our interactions TRP.

  18. Jenny Kirk 18

    Its getting late and I have other things to do – namely, sleeping

    But I’m disturbed when someone like TRP goes looking for suggestions on how to make The Standard better and more inclusive of women and he gets attacked instead.
    And maybe that is part of the “problem”. Commentators attacking the person, and not the substance about which they are writing.
    People are entitled to their views. And they should feel safe enough to be able to give their opinions and ask for suggestions without being attacked.

    • Expat 18.1

      Jenny Kirk

      Absolutely right Jenny, everyone is entitled to an opinion, no matter how outlandish, incorrect or bias, it’s their opinion and their entitled to air it.

  19. OK, enough strident male voices, ta. From here on in, I’ll be removing anything from the boys that isn’t a positive suggestion on how we make The Standard a more inclusive place for women. Thanks, Milt, you got it.

    If there are women who want to comment on my many faults, that’s still allowed. Thanks, Trav, don’t hold back!

    • Cheers TRP, I didn’t. And the fact that you have to use the word “allow” speaks volumes. I sincerely hope Iprent will have a closer look at your behavior over the last couple of years. He is naïve but hopefully not that naïve.

      And I wouldn’t call them faults, they are more like a pervasive pattern of verbal abuse and patronizing contempt. The first can be cute, the second and third are what is killing the Standard for intelligent people of all genders.

      Just because you choose not to show your usual venom doesn’t mean it’s not there. it would be just to public in this post and you can’t afford that. You’ll save that for later…. after you got rid of excellent intelligent thinkers like Red logic and Colonial viper.

  20. Stuart Munro 20

    It is for me a tricky matter – for all that I value what some women bring to the table, I am disposed to contest some of the issues of identity politics. I guess the same could be said of Maori or other communities of interest – it would be good in the sense of healthy diversity to see more of them, but there are issues upon which we may fundamentally disagree.

    The most recent I was involved in was the ‘racifying’ of Twyford’s Auckland investor revelations. These were not really news to anyone, but it at least temporarily caused bitter internal divisions on the Left that would tend to alienate them from people finding themselves no longer able to realistically contemplate owning their own home, which I would consider a classical Left priority.

    I’m given to understand that suppressing frequent tr0lls improves blog participation

    http://twentytwo.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-157-still-searching-for-safety-online-collective-strategies-and-discursive-resistance-to-trolling-and-harassment-in-a-feminist-network/

    Though whether that is practical or desirable here is hard for me to say. I do get annoyed when the RWNJs hog the feed till it reads like John Key’s twitter channel, or when they perpetrate barefaced lies. Lie flagging and invective flagging might be possible responses.

  21. NZJester 21

    Is it the standard or just the internet in general?
    It seams like when ever I watch a video posted by a female on YouTube there are always a few very sexist comments in the comments section.

    • weka 21.1

      The internet can be a hideous place for women and for feminists it can even be downright dangerous. However there are also places that are better protected. This happens be intention not chance. The Standard could be one of those places, but only if the men in control at the moment are willing for it to be so. I hear some of those men saying yes, some saying possibly but we don’t know how, and some avoiding an answer. There are others who haven’t spoken yet.

      It will involve sharing power, which is always the challenge. And that power sharing will have to involve women being able to change the place not just be tag ons to the bloke culture here.

      • Tracey 21.1.1

        And accepting that there are different ways of “speaking out” and being “heard” and the loudest most aggressive voice is only the one that dominates because people allow it to be that way. Imagine if some men here tried posting the way some women here do. For a day. Just expanded their life experience and spent a day without name calling or passive aggressiveness or the need to be right all the time. 1 day.

        Can I just say thank you tot he men who have come to thestandard understanding that there are different ways to be heard and that all those ways are valid. I always felt very supported (as opposed to agreed with all the time) by many here and I hope you know who you are. Special shout out to redLogix who consciously decided to walk across the bridge.

        • weka 21.1.1.1

          And accepting that there are different ways of “speaking out” and being “heard” and the loudest most aggressive voice is only the one that dominates because people allow it to be that way. Imagine if some men here tried posting the way some women here do. For a day. Just expanded their life experience and spent a day without name calling or passive aggressiveness or the need to be right all the time. 1 day.

          This is very good. So if we included women’s culture here, the place would change. And at least some of the men here would already support that I think i.e. there are men who don’t like the way that it is. But you are right to point to how the women here (for the most part) comment is different from the general culture of the place. I find life like that too.

  22. Sanctuary 22

    A shocking list!

    Jenny Michie
    Stephanie Rodgers
    Karolhocking list
    Rocky
    Mandy Hager
    Deborah Russell
    Stargazer
    Tracey
    Julie Fairey
    Helen Kelly….

    There is always going to be a tension between a site that consciously or not reflects ambient traditional Labour values {hell, the title of the site gives that away!} and feminist writers, just as there is a tension between Green supporters and traditional Labour voters. Some of this is that often women writers have been victims of significant abuse in real life, are often talking as victims and find criticism painfully personal. That list is damning and it points to significant problems with how this site is administered. Something needs to change to accommodate and make women writers feel more comfortable.

    On the issue of Redlogix’s post I considered that it was made in good faith and as an attempt to add something to the debate. You cannot question his motives or the courage it takes to share domestic abuse stories. However, I also thought it was unwise of him to conflate his particular horrible experience with the outright viciousness of Tony Veitch’s assault on his partner, not the least because Veitch is a slimy, whiny self-centred asshole and bully and Redlogix’s story did not deserve to be heard in the context of such low company.

    ON THE COMMENTS
    I have occasionally in the past considered submitting a few guest posts on topics that I thought I might be able to offer a new POV on. But nowadays, I just check the stories and hardly bother with the comments so my desire to knock out 800 words for this site has waned along with my presence.

    I would crack down on obvious derailing, trolling and not posting in good faith. It is obvious that some posters are not here to debate in good faith but to simply immediately attempt to derail the comments. Posting comments isn’t a right, it is actually no different in principle to sending an old fashioned letter to the editor. However, it is impossible to crack down on trolling, bullying and derailing when one of the biggest leaders of the charge is a moderator and contributing author, that is all I will say. Setting the tone starts at the top.

    The simplest way to achieve the above is to just do away with posting guidelines and implement a politeness policy instead. For example, a politeness policy might include [ some pinched from metabunk]…

    • Be polite.
    • Do not insult people.
    • Do not call them names, such as “stupid”, “ignorant”, “uneducated”, or “liar”.
    • Do not suggest they get an education, or take some classes.
    • Do not criticise their spelling or grammar
    • Do not respond to the tone of their post instead of the content
    • Do not mock people, or make jokes at their expense
    • Do not suggest they are mentally ill, or that they need help

    The above applies regardless of if it is true or not. If an author or someone else perceives something as rude, then it is impolite.

    Instead, please:
    • Show them where they are wrong
    • Try to help them understand their misconceptions. Politely.
    • Stick to the facts
    • Ignore any insults that they might use
    • Focus on individual key points, not the general tone.

    The above policy will be enforced. Posts that do not conform to the politeness policy will be edited and deleted, and people who repeatedly violate it will be banned without notice or public warning.

    The politeness will not be applied even-handedly Trolls and derailers generally have far thicker skins than, say, victims of domestic violence. Some people will not be given the benefit of the doubt, others will. However, the moderator will try and apply the politeness policy to themselves in dealing with troublesome posters.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      You’ve been around The Standard a very long time Sanctuary; and I’ve long regarded you the most dependable moral compass we have. All of what you are saying here is correct and I’d very much commend the regulars here take your guidance firmly to heart.

      But I will make one last and final comment about Tony Veitch. And it explains why my experience and his cannot be untangled … there but for the grace of God go I.

      Edit: And interestingly just this morning:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/family-violence/news/article.cfm?c_id=178&objectid=11636220

    • Tracey 22.2

      Great list Sanctuary! However those who do the opposite do so consciously and subconsciously to exert their influence/power over others.

      I will repost your list and ask why some find this so hard?

      • Be polite.
      • Do not insult people.
      • Do not call them names, such as “stupid”, “ignorant”, “uneducated”, or “liar”.
      • Do not suggest they get an education, or take some classes.
      • Do not criticise their spelling or grammar
      • Do not respond to the tone of their post instead of the content
      • Do not mock people, or make jokes at their expense
      • Do not suggest they are mentally ill, or that they need help

  23. vto 23

    I think the standard could be improved for the subject group if no groups at all were allowed to be targeted with bigotry, prejudice, knees and jerks…

    good luck with that though

    • Colonial Viper 23.1

      you are right, its never going to work as comments and posts on The Standard commonly regards National voters as ignorant self centred greedy fucktards on a daily basis.

      While we have to be sensitive and considerate about other peoples backgrounds upbringings history culture diversity mindset values!!!

      (But we do know those people are ignorant self centred greedy fucktards, yeah!!!)

  24. Lucy 24

    I have found the posts on TV the most problematic. It has bought out a level of ununderstanding between men and women that has taken the standard into the abyss of sexual politics that brings up all the reasons why women shut up and go away. For me RedLogic and CV are prepared to keep the argument going until they win the argument against all comers. Not sure why this issue is one to make a stand on! Every time I argue something I am told I am wrong and to go reread what they say. To be able to disagree without being made to feel belittled has always been a great part of TS – but now I feel on sexual politics it is demanded that I agree with the male viewpoint or men will keep talking over me til I agree, it is tiring and makes me want to leave and not come back.

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      dont know about you but I have to comment on this issue because TRP started talking about purging me, RL and others off The Standard.

      He even wrote this post in the blind hope that a mass uprising of The Standard commentators would back his authoritarian instincts to have his way and start permabanning us.

      Basically he’s used the issue of domestic violence as a power play to try and get rid of some long standing authors and commentators that he has personally disliked for a long time, and we would not be the first that he has done that too.

      BTW that sensation you are starting to feel on the edges: that’s what being treated like a pawn in his game feels like.

      • Sanctuary 24.1.1

        So having tried and failed to set up a faction to seize control of Dunedin South, you’ve decided your consolation prize is going to be to tear the Standard apart to fulfill your need to feel important?

        • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.1

          You must have mistaken me for the authoritarian minded person trying to get long time authors and commentators permabanned, or otherwise chased off The Standard, like he has done to Marty and others.

          As for Dunedin South. The party was not going to tolerate a divergent point of view, and it did not want to renew. In fact it was very happy to manipulate the situation to keep the underperforming and bottom ranked Clare Curran and her team in power, despite her destroying 2/3 of Labour’s electorate majority in that seat from around 11,000 to just under 4,000.

          So yeah, our political team failed to make a change to Dunedin South, which I deeply regret, and in 2017 this once strong and proud Labour stronghold will become a marginal seat.

          Our projection is that her Labour majority will fall to ~2,000 in 2017.

          Dunedin South already lost the party vote to National in 2014.

          • Sanctuary 24.1.1.1.1

            The thing is, to me you sound like you think you feel you are continually the victim of intolerant and authoritarian people who quite unreasonably seek to suppress you. A bit like the lone juror who has never met 12 other such unreasonable people in his life….

            • One Anonymous Bloke 24.1.1.1.1.1

              To this member of no party the factionalism here is obvious. What’s also obvious is that an important issue for The Standard – enabling and listening to more than male voices – risks being derailed by this internecine bile.

              • weka

                Yes, and it’s a pity that TRP isn’t backing up his declaration to shut the men up who aren’t positively contributing. Ever the problem with the moderation here. It’s child raising 101. If you set a boundary with consequences, then you either need to enforce that or restate what you are intending.

                On the other hand, TRP did fuck it up by conflating the womens issues with the factionalism within the authors.

                • Hi, Weka. Sadly work took me away from this post this morning so I wasn’t in a position to moderate. However, I’ll just say, what would have been nicer would have been the angry men accepting what I asked and just leaving this thread alone.

                  Thanks for all your comments, even the ones that were critical of me. I don’t believe I was conflating the issues. The sad fact that we have an author who hates women, and much of the rest of the world, is a vital part of the post, as I see it. But I’ve already said what I wanted to say in the post, so I’ll leave it there.

                  I’ll moderate more closely for the rest of the arvo.

        • Sanctuary 24.1.1.2

          to expand CV, your contention is that faction politics are at play in posts on The Standard by various contributors?

          • Colonial Viper 24.1.1.2.1

            This post. This post.

            This post is an explicit call by TRP to expel/expunge some specific long term commentators and authors off The Standard.

            You don’t even have to read between the lines of this post. Why do you need further clarification from me on this?

            • Tracey 24.1.1.2.1.1

              I agree with CV. My experience is that TRP operates with hidden agendas. The man speak/acts from both sides of his mouth. I base that on personal experience of him here as an author. I saw what he was doing to CV over the Dunedin issue. Hell he even got on the phone to me out of the blue about it because I leant some support to CV by way of asking TRP to tone down his name calling and vitriol.

              But when I did not support his viewpoint he took it upon himself to turn his passive aggressive style on me in his posts.

              • Colonial Viper

                Hmmm, I hadn’t known that Tracey. Good to see you back, albeit unfortunately too briefly.

                • Tracey

                  Be well CV. We do not agree on all things but I think we manage to disagree with a semblence of mutual respect.

        • weka 24.1.1.3

          So having tried and failed to set up a faction to seize control of Dunedin South, you’ve decided your consolation prize is going to be to tear the Standard apart to fulfill your need to feel important?

          I can’t see what that has to do with this thread. If you have a beef with CV, can you please take it to OM?

          CV isn’t the only one naming the problem being played out here re TRP, CV and Red.

          • Rosemary McDonald 24.1.1.3.1

            If I may make an ‘outside of the tent’ comment.

            I don’t really notice who is commenting…I am responding to what is being said, rather than who is saying it.

            For all I know, CV, TRP, and RL (et al.) are all the same person.

  25. Ad 25

    I’d like to see a (perhaps voluntary) comment limit of ten per day per person.

    That would make more people stop and think and write something meaningful.

    It would also discourage trolls, and stop the current dominance by the few.

    I don’t think that would limit either debate or hits – I think it would give breathing space for the others.

    Personally given the intensity of work for the next few years I’m not going to be posting much, or commenting as much. I just have to concentrate.

  26. Astata G 26

    I like the comment limit per day idea. You could add to this a minimum word count for a comment, to discourage short jibes.

    I’ve been a reader for a long time but I rarely comment, here and on TDB. What puts me off commenting is not conflict or criticism – I’m in academia where critiquing people’s ideas happens all the time – but chit-chat with little substance. There are people here who have plenty of time and want to mark their presence when they have nothing to say. When commenting, you risk being hit with a one-liner which challenges you to reply but does not develop the discussion in any meaningful way. I’m happy to engage in a debate but I have no time and patience for narcissistic banter.

    I copied a few examples below, from another thread. Each of these is a full comment.

    “mag must have some rather bad KDS”
    “It’s not all about Ponyboy, maggoty.”
    “That’s nice dear. What does the Reserve Bank do again?”
    “Baby steps deary. Why do they do it?”
    “Requiring evidence is not hypocrisy, it is sound and logical thinking. Probably foreign to you.”
    “There is that pinhead again (dancing in cause you get offended john)”

    I’m female BTW but I chose a nick that is not obviously gendered (name of a wasp species) because I’ve had bad experiences in other parts of the Internet.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 26.1

      You singled out two of my comments for criticism, yet say nothing about the context. John’s initial assertion is similarly short; my questions go directly to the heart of his argument, as perhaps can be seen from the comments that follow.

      ‘Brevity is the soul of wit’, and still ‘you can’t please all of the people all of the time’.

      • Astata G 26.1.1

        I copied them randomly so don’t take it personally. But this was what I meant by ‘narcissistic banter’ – people who engage in it believe that they are witty and entertaining. More often than not this is not the case.

        You’re right that you can’t please everyone. Since there was a call for women’s opinions what they dislike about the Standard environment, I offered my opinion. Because it’s about feelings and aesthetics, it isn’t something that can be argued right or wrong.

  27. Rosemary McDonald 27

    Music, perhaps, to soothe…

    Well

    Well they blew the horns
    And the walls came down
    They’d all been warned
    And the walls came down

    They stood there laughing
    They’re not laughing anymore
    The walls came down

    Sanctuary fades, congregation splits
    Nightly military raids, the congregation splits
    It’s a song of assassins, ringin’ in your ears
    We got terrorists thinking, playing on fears
    Oh

    Well they blew the horns
    And the walls came down
    They’d all been warned
    But the walls came down

    I don’t think there are any Russians
    And there ain’t no Yanks
    Just corporate criminals
    Playin’ with tanks

    Read more: The Call – The Walls Came Down Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  28. Dot 28

    Suggestion,
    Some men do it really well.
    Read Scott Yorke at Imperator Fish blogspot, he is never boring.

    I do not think that the Standard is broken
    but our present government is!
    As a woman I have got very good at doing my own editing
    and selecting.

  29. Don't worry. Be happy 29

    I stop reading the minute the comments start going around in name calling pointless circles. I suspect many people do. I value the authors and this site but the squabbling and swearing I could do without…..I find it embarrassing. Cringemaking.

    For what it is worth I like the Politeness guideline. Being polite does not make you weak or boring. I think of one of the bravest women I have ever met….she goes to the Occupied Territories and escorts schoolchildren to and from school as they run the guantlet of armed and furious Zionist settlers. The Zionists are afraid to shoot at the children while she is present. And she is a grey haired, slightly built, quietly spoken woman of steel and action and purpose.

  30. jm 30

    Um,

    Why does the issue have to be phrased like this? Trolls and shitposters abound- but they’re not _mutually exclusive_ to the comment threads on female posts. There’s something truly rank about someone who suggests that females don’t have the same mental fortitude as males in dealing with trolls/abuse.

    Safe spaces are the bane of true intellectual discourse- I’m not saying trolling is appropriate at any time- but having lurked here for a long time I’ve seen a lot of vitriol from both sides of the fence. More often than not, RW posts are marked as “trolling” (subjective) and abuse is hurled at the posters. This is not okay.

    Anita mentioned that we need to have a “quota” for female posts. This is not okay- last I checked there isn’t any discrimination on who gets published on The Standard. Why is it a problem if there isn’t “enough” content generated by female authors? Why are you asking for a crutch on behalf of the female population?

    Let’s not frame this as a ‘gender’ issue- this is the internet- shit is flung every microsecond- in every direction. Shit filters are fine- because there’s a metric shit ton of shit out there. Pointing fingers and calling it misogyny is _not okay_.

    • Tracey 30.1

      Your perspective is welcomed but please do not assume that how the world is for you is how it is for everyone, and frankly, that is what it reads like to me. Equality is not about being exactly the same. It is about getting to the same end point.

  31. Kay 31

    I’m a daily reader here and very rarely comment on certain articles. And am female.

    I’ve learnt a lot about politics and become more interested and aware of events going on through reading this site, and even been inspired to go and do further reading on some subjects. I certainly have formed quite strong opinions on current affairs but when it comes to posting on this site, even in open mike tbh I just feel too intimidated. Not because I’m female, or because of trolls, but because I’m just not able to express my views as intelligently as most of the commentator here (trolles excluded). I’m university educated but in an entirely different field- fine arts- so I think differently and as it is often have trouble interpreting some of what’s written, and quite honestly, I’d feel bloody stupid not being able to convey my views at the level most of you can.

    As a long-term beneficiary I’m in an excellent position to write about the situation we’re all in- male and female, and it’s something I’d like to be able to do and have somewhere to put that post. But I’m acutely aware that ANY post, ANYWHERE on NZ websites about anything to do with benefits that have open comments sections will invite in all the rednecks/trolls who will have a field day attacking us because it’s the national sport de jour. And we have enough to contend with without being on the recieving end of all that crap. Therefore, is it worth the effort? Unless the comments are completely moderated to stop any nasty stuff from even showing up even briefly I wouldn’t want to deliberately expose myself to that.

    • Rosemary McDonald 31.1

      “…and quite honestly, I’d feel bloody stupid not being able to convey my views at the level most of you can.”

      Rubbish….best comment I’ve read all day. 🙂

      (and you are totally right, by the way)

      Comment more…please.

      • miravox 31.1.1

        +1

        And I’d love to see posts written to counter the spin and written by someone at the sharp end of government policy.

        I think r0b is right however about a critical mass. I think a few people (women) have to step up together and consistently to help make posts women want to write an everyday kind of thing, rather than the exception and with good moderating that may tone down the trolls on this site in a short while.

        • Tracey 31.1.1.1

          Except they get attacked individually, separated from the pack, at times abandoned by those with moderating powers… there is also a lack of back room support from some authors. Women step up to author, and stick with it for a while… try to ride out the BS, but then give up

          • weka 31.1.1.1.1

            Tracey, so good to see you!! And yeah, the problems run deep.

            • Tracey 31.1.1.1.1.1

              Thank you. It is brief I am sorry to say and a coincidence that this thread was here…

          • left for dead 31.1.1.1.2

            Good to hear you Tracey. 🙂

            edit: spelling mistake

            • Tracey 31.1.1.1.2.1

              Thank you. It is brief I am sorry to say and a coincidence that this thread was here…

          • miravox 31.1.1.1.3

            I’m sorry authoring seems to have been an unhappy experience. I has appreciated your comments and posts. I guess there weren’t too many women in the back room, if any? Having said that, I recognise support requires more that simply a gender balance. Experienced authors and moderators need to step up, and if they can’t mentor, they can at least be positive otherwise yeah, it’s all talk. I still think posts authored by women need to become routine (and not just one woman at a time).

            I’m one of the many who would love to see you back for more than a fleeting moment.

    • Gangnam Style 31.2

      Would love to hear more from you. I find posting under a silly sounding name makes any attacks on me less personal.

  32. save nz 32

    Since people write under Pseudonym, how do you know how many men vs women?

    Nobody knows what gender I am when I post comments.

    • weka 32.1

      Have a look at the list of women authors. They’re all obvious. As for commenters, it’s true that some using a pseudonym don’t share their gender but many of us do and that becomes known over time.

      • Colonial Viper 32.1.1

        I think the all powerful all seeing google analytics type tools give lprent a pretty good estimate of M:F.

  33. weka 33

    Ok, I’ll say it. Would the men in this thread please shut the fuck up. Now. I’m not saying this because I don’t think you should have voices here (there have been some great comments by men here). I’m saying this because yet again there is going to be a derailment that puts women off. Just for a moment, please stop taking up the space and let it be there for some other people.

    CV and Red, you have legitimate grievances as to how TRP has handled this and attacked you both. You both also have author privileges here so you don’t have to use this thread to address what is going on. If you keep doing that here in this thread you will destroy the momentum around getting new women authors here. Do you really want to risk that?

    • weka 33.1

      Moderators, TRP is obviously not around to moderate this thread, so can someone else please step in, make a decision as to whether you really want women here, and if you do then move all other discussions somewhere else. Or put up a new thread that is able to be moderated by someone who isn’t going to entangle it with personal issues and who will prioritise the space for women.

      [some key words to grab the mods’ attention: nazi, nazi, nazi]

      • Rosemary McDonald 33.1.1

        “Ok, I’ll say it. Would the men in this thread please shut the fuck up.

        Seconded.

        • Colonial Viper 33.1.1.1

          At this stage, I’m more than pleased to leave you lot to your own talkfest. Sayonara.

      • te reo putake 33.1.2

        Just to briefly repeat a comment I left above, work prevented me from moderating this morning. I’m back now and will keep a close eye on things.

    • Rosemary McDonald 33.2

      Weka….they’re willy wagging.

      It’s a pissing contest…men are kinda physiologically, biologically and psychologically pre -disposed to this.

      Maybe…a ‘space’ could be created where the menfolk could go to indulge in this behaviour from time to time?

      • jm 33.2.1

        Not denying that we’re “physiologically” pre-disposed to willy wagging (we do have male genitalia)- you’re obviously cognizant of the fact that there are gender differences- but instead of embracing this you’re suggesting that this is “inappropriate” and that we should “indulge in this behaviour in our own spaces”.

        Let’s back-track for a second- I think we should accept that there will always be differences between how men and women communicate- vilifying the peccadillos or quirks of either gender is not constructive.

        I have no issue with the first part of your comment- but the second part is dripping with misandry.

        • Rosemary McDonald 33.2.1.1

          Hmmm…

          …bearing in mind that this here conversation was born out of a conversation about the presentation in the media of a domestic abuser. That there conversation got derailed by a man wanting acknowledgement of victims of abuse by women(which no one objected to at all) and then progressed to that person teaching all of us about genetic and gender predisposition towards certain behaviours, innate power struggles within intimate relationships, and while we’re at it we should be kinder to the media presented abuser because he is worthy of redemption.

          And so it goes.

          Turns out…and I was oblivious of this…the original poster was setting up an arena to purge the standard of two other authors. Power and control and all that.

          Then weka, sincerely trying to get back to the discussion on ‘how to make the standard a safer place for women’ begs for relief from the what I term ‘willy wagging’ and let the women have some space.

          jm takes umbrage at the suggestion of a cyber ‘mens shed’….

          Getting back to the domestic violence thing (remember that???)…one of the better initiatives in the area of managing domestic violence is that instead of the abused having to leave the family home (and this is usually the women and children and RL you can just suck the stats up) it is the abuser who has to leave. Leaving a safe place for the victims.

          My suggesting, within the context of this discussion, that the men potter off to do their thing (the thing that makes this an unsafe place for many women) somewhere else was a reference to that particular dv initiative.

          No misandry intended.

          Now, back to the kitchen…

          • Tracey 33.2.1.1.1

            Well written Rosemary!

          • greywarshark 33.2.1.1.2

            I like the idea of women pottering off to argue about gender politics on a women’s site of which there are a number, and that this site looks at the breakdown of human relationships and what can be done through awareness and assertiveness workshops. also legally. to improve that situation. Keep to the subject, point out in two sentences where commenters are getting off the subject, and then offer some helpful suggestions, which I have done in two, stretched, sentences!

            • fender 33.2.1.1.2.1

              Whereas I like the idea that woman can have political discussions of EVERY kind in an environment HERE that is safe and accommodating.

              There’s much to learn by just reading rather than spouting primitive ideas of exclusion.

              Far too many pig-headed males in this country seem determined to stay ancient-thinking in case they’re perceived as being weak or pc.

        • Tracey 33.2.1.2

          “Let’s back-track for a second- I think we should accept that there will always be differences between how men and women communicate-”

          And yet the point is that the male method dominates and drives away dissenters, and is allowed to dominate. Why? You seem to be obliquely referring to fairness but at the same time appear to be suggesting the status quo. Contradictory much?

          • Rosemary McDonald 33.2.1.2.1

            “Contradictory much?”

            I have, over the past few days, finally realised what the expression “get you head around (an issue)” means.

            I swear I have actually felt my brain twisting inside my skull.

            Nice to see you Tracey. 🙂

            • Tracey 33.2.1.2.1.1

              “I swear I have actually felt my brain twisting inside my skull.”

              This ^^^^^^^^

              But you know what Rosemary you and I we try to understand where they are coming from, and what they mean, and what the answer is, too many chaps just dogeddly cling to the staus quo which works for them.

              There are good people here, men and women. Silenced too much.

      • Ad 33.2.2

        The moderators have their own intranet to discuss such matters, which is where that kind of thing should always be.

  34. save nz 34

    I think there is more a problem of right wing Trolls derailing posts rather than sexist comments here.

    But saying that I keep both my identity and gender private.

  35. Kereru 35

    This site is a hateful misogynist place for women. Want proof?

    [Deleted. Kereru’s point was that if you google “the Standard” combined with a well known derogatory word, there are many hits. Point taken. TRP]

  36. James 36

    The abuse from some on the left on this blog can be disgusting. If its from a “righty” they are generally moderated and banned. Not always the case and Im sure that Mods do their best – but it does seem to be a little biased.

    Regardless – leaving the “left / right” out of it – comments that I would not want my daughter seeing and that I know my wife finds offensive do happen and generally do not get pulled up by other commenters.

    Here is an example from just a few days ago – TRP – ask yourself – is this the kind of behaviour “you” want at the Standard? How do you think people feel reading stuff like this:

    [r0b – agreed – deleted here and at source]

    Not really intelligent commenting – and heck – that wouldnt even get past the mods at “that blog”.

  37. Vaughan Little 37

    I quit the standard about half a year ago cos I found it to be too toxic.

    left politics should be vibrant, creative and generous. there’s way too much “fuck you” going on. which seems to reflect the state of left politics – in the place of a robust strategic culture, there’s robust dudgeon instead.

    maybe try to experiment with extremely high standards of moderation that only permit for factual discussion, without the emo. probably unworkable, but then there are sites with way betterer comments sections vis a vis overall tone.

    apart from women, think of all the other demographics that have been alienated. it’s a big problem. Christianity has been a foundation of left politics for a very long time,but I walked away from this blog because of the open hostility to Christians that’s out there. in part. thinking back, it’s actually shocking how I was spoken to sometimes as a Christian in the Wellington Labour scene.

    • Colonial Viper 37.1

      [Deleted. I’ve left the sentence that contributes positively. TRP]

      Having said that I think that we should certainly consider profanity personally directed at other commentators becoming a moderatable offence.

    • Colonial Viper 37.2

      Vaughan, I’ll respond to your comment on Open Mike.

  38. maui 38

    So after a person firmly said at 12.30pm this post be left to female commenters only and it was pretty clear the reasons for that, we get at least 6 different comments from men. Well done…

    • greywarshark 38.1

      Why should there only be female commenters? Why set up an open blog for discussion by all people and then strident or self-centred women then take it over and run it to suit themselves? I object, I don’t want any Ayn Rands of any persuasion who think they know all taking over.

      Neither do I want men who bulldoze over all, or who use particularly bad language aimed at the sensitive, inner heart, soul or body of men or women, I have objected to such language towards women. But I don’t want women taking over any of the site and shaping it to suit themselves, shutting out males, sanitising the site so that all expletives and strong feelings are banned, Moderation in the general sense, rather than that in controlling the blog, is something to think about in this matter.

      “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
      ― Oscar Wilde (who understood the need for navigating between conflicting ideologies.)
      Goodreads

      More on moderation (involving thought).
      Best Answer (from Anonymous): The phrase, “Moderation in all things,” is common extrapolation of Aristotle’s Doctrine of the Mean (as presented in his Nicomachean Ethics). His ethic works around finding the mean, or middle ground, between excess and deficiency. An example of this would be his presentation of courage being the happy medium between the extreme of rash action and the deficiency of cowardice, in respect to a person’s possible action in the face of danger.

      It should be noted that Aristotle’s ethic is often misundertood by its summary: moderation in all things. It is frequently reasoned by those unfamiliar with context that the common phrase means that a person should approach all things (whether healthy or unhealthy) with moderation; therefore, reasoning that a moderate amount of a bad thing can be indulged is not uncommon to find. This is an inaccurate representation of the perspective summarized in the popular phrase.
      Yahoo Answers.
      Enjoy a nicely crafted quotes site on balance and moderation.
      http://www.quotegarden.com/site-info.html

  39. Bill 39

    Well, this is a bit of a stramash to come back to after a few days off-line!

    There were two posts that aimed to discuss these kind of things put up a while back. One was in public and the other was back-end. There was a number of things that seemed to be popular, but as I sit here right now, I can only think of one that was put into action – and that only happened a month or two back (a private thread that lists/catalogues bans and the reasoning behind them).

    Here’s the link to that earlier post. /standard-changes/

    When I first began visiting the site, the ‘obvious’ thing that struck me – I mentioned it to the then ‘big cheese’ – was that identifiable handles (pseudonyms or whatever) almost invited debate or conversation to degenerate to the level of ad-hom nonsense.

    Is it possible to have comments generate on the front end with no ID attached? Would that encourage people to engage with ideas and thoughts rather than attack some imagined persona? (as happens).

    Trust!. In any community or any relationship, trust is vital. Like any community, the Standard will diminish if authors sense that other authors are out to get them. And once trust is gone, it doesn’t tend to come back.

    • greywarshark 39.1

      I appreciate your comments Bill. I know that you are Bill and enjoy getting to know your thoughts and reasoned opinions. If you are suggesting a bunch of Anoymouses then I say No stridently. There are many who write on Bowalley Road and I sneer at them as I don’t know one from another, and I appreciate getting to know the mind behind the pseudonym.

      The answer to the problem of being involved with those winding up others deliberately, or on the other hand, ” if authors sense that other authors are out to get them. And once trust is gone, it doesn’t tend to come back.” is simply for replying commenters not to do this.

      I have gone from being attacked every time I put words to screen, to getting no feedback at all so I know something of the frustration one can feel. But the site gets the commentary it earns, and the answer is to allow comments to build up before jumping in and having a say that disagrees with the commenter or brings a different aspect to that discussion. This, instead of trying to stop others expressing opinions by instant response of negative disagreement. Just shut up and let someone with a different opinion have a say for a while, give them some room not lurk at the side ready to hit them on the head.

      I have seen people trying to impose censorship here too often, rather than allowing a dissenting voice with a left opinion, have a say. There is usually a nub of truth in everything, so sorting that out from the dross would be a useful outcome to discussion, not just negating everything and finally driving the dissenter away. And interesting ones go, leaving a gap. While trolls of RW sneers, put-downs, policy deniers, and generally people-haters and progressive-policy haters go on and constantly inflame others on the site. They are toxic and the site suffers when there is too big a dose.

      Limits please on the site for these people. If we all were limited daily even, if that was easier, to say six, then we would be more choosy as to what we put up. Better quality rather than quantity.
      Letters to the editor words went down from 300 to 200 years back. And produced more cogent content!

  40. Rosemary McDonald 40

    Blast from the past…(video made by a high school student in 2013)

    enjoy.

  41. feijoa 41

    Speaking as a very occasional commenter but regular reader (female), the main thing that pisses me off on the Standard is the trolls.
    I am ok with some reasoned argument, but really, a lot of it is scroll through stuff. Life is too short to read their shit.
    Also I am tired of lefties fighting themselves – I’ve seen way too much of that.
    The stuff I like to read the most is where the humour and wit of the Standardistas comes out – it is pure gold.
    Nonethe less, I enjoy coming on here after work for my alternative to the mass media. Keep up all the good work – I would miss you heaps.

  42. trendy lefty 42

    As a frequent reader of this blog and an infrequent commenter, and a female, I will say:

    I enjoy the articles and I don’t usually read the comments because they are 95% drivel

    I don’t care if right-wingers comment here but I can’t understand why anyone bothers responding to them

    It is hilarious watching the men trying to work out how to “help” and “let the women have a go”, but dominating the thread with their comments as usual

    The whole vibe here is a closed shop – old lefties shouting at each other, nothing positive or new or interesting – easy to see why youngsters are not interested in left politics

    My comments usually don’t make it past moderation anyway, no doubt this will suffer a similar fate

    • Tracey 42.1

      No idea why your comments wouldn’t get past moderation but I agree with most of what you have written here.

  43. Gael 43

    Just the art of being kind is all this old world needs….

    kind mends bridges, pays people fairly, runs businesses ethically, prevents all abuses and can solve most angst.

    Until politicians stop worshipping the ‘economy’ instead of collective ‘well being’ nothing will change…more abuse compiled on more violence, more unswimmable rivers compounded greed, more trolls, more debt, more tears bs… who will break the cycle?

    I started reading TS because it was an alternative news source…. not much news lately…too much opinion….imho 😉

  44. Tracey 44

    TRP

    Is this recent epiphany of such an extent that your reaching out is genuine?

    Cos I can say with my hand on my heart that your duplicity, dis-ingenuity, faux ignorance of your actions and aggressive push to rid the place of all but those who would either toe your preferred political line or at least not challenge it,is why I left. I speak specifically of the face you have in private as well as your posting face (occasionally they reflect each other but not always).

    For example, if this were genuine why would you not email or phone the female authors who have left since your return and pitch your concern to them? In my case you did/have done neither of these things, yet when you were wanting to get people to quiet down their opinions on Labour you were on
    the phone in a flash.

    • I don’t have those contact details, Tracey. I don’t even have yours any more. I certainly won’t be ringing you again, given your repeated breaches of what I assumed at the time was a private conversation.

      But, yes, I am genuine. The coffee meeting I talked about in the post really shook me. I’m not responsible for my friends situation, but I am responsible for my own behaviour and I share responsibility for this site. So I am genuinely going to try to change myself and the Standard for the better. And I’ve copped every bit of criticism that has come my way in the comments section from women (and some men) with good grace. I’m prepared to own my mistakes and do better in the future.

      There are two issues that I think are related. One is the treatment of women here. It’s appalling. The second is the swamping of the site with authors who are not left wing and who proudly carry anti-women attitudes. In the case of one specific author, it’s more than just anti-women, it’s anti everything this site supposedly stands for. That is a fundamental problem for the middle aged, middle class men who own and run this site. I hope they address it.

      • weka 44.1.1

        The probem TRP is that if you are changing it’s not that apparent to those of us commenting. Good grace is good, but it’s not enough on its own. When I hear you taking the behaviour criticisms seriously, I’ll start believing that you really want to change. Yes there are problems with how this site is being in in respect of gender, and you are part of that problem. I’ve yet to see a real acknowledgement of that.

        • te reo putake 44.1.1.1

          Seriously, weka? The acknowledgement is in the post, it’s in the replies I made to points raised about the post and it’s in the replies I didn’t make when I thought it was better to shut up and take it on board. I’ve been raising the issue for a long time now, but it’s only in recent months that I’ve actively tried to tone it done (ie take some personal responsibility). This post was a further step forward in my own evolution, and I hope in the evolution of the Standard.

          But I don’t get to decide if the place has improved. That’s over to you and the other people that this post is trying to give a voice to. I’m over the moon that so many women have chosen to comment on it. I’ll be gutted if we go back to the same old bollocks when the dust settles.

          • Tracey 44.1.1.1.1

            We are all judged by our actions TRP. So time will prove your change. Good luck on your journey.

          • weka 44.1.1.1.2

            “Seriously, weka?”

            Yes. Because you’ve just had yet another woman point something out to you and all you can do is defend yourself. That’s not change. I don’t think I am being heard, and likewise for others. You won’t be able to share power until you can hear what is being said and respond in a way that doesn’t just say you are right.

            This is (IMO) the crux of what Tracey is saying. There are different ways of relating, and too many of the men here are entrenched in the one that makes them right rather than in ones that make for good communication. I don’t know if that can be changed, but I do believe that if you are going to champion women, then you need to learn more about hearing what they say.

          • weka 44.1.1.1.3

            I’d appreciate a reply to these as well (you might have missed them).

            Broken

            Broken

      • Tracey 44.1.2

        I point to your first paragraph as Exhibit A

  45. Colonial Viper 45

    I wanted to say at this point to TRP that you have moderated this very difficult post with noticeable skill, and quite differently even compared to say last year.

    A lighter hand with more discretion, and a clear sense of proportionality. You have also gone to considerable effort to let through comments or parts of comments that you felt were useful, even if possibly marginal or opposed to your own views, instead of defaulting to the ban hammer early on.

    • lprent 45.1

      Yeah I did notice a lack of complaints about moderation. Good job.

    • Cheers, CV and Lynn, your comments are much appreciated. That’s the way I intend to approach modding in the future; encouragement first, ban hammer very much the last resort.

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