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The Thinking Housewife and Blabbermouths on the Internet

 

JANE S. writes:

Recently, a reader called Jen said The Thinking Housewife is a “joke,” because it doesn’t have an open comments feature. The reason for this, according to Jen, is because Laura Wood is too cowardly to allow transparent open discussion on her site.

A few days ago, quite by accident, I googled “The Thinking Housewife,” on a library computer and discovered a number of blogs that appear to be dedicated to taking content from TTH and dissecting it in snarky ways. One of them is called  Manboobz, just to give you an idea of the caliber of intellect we’re dealing with. The blog posts at these sites all have tags like “misogyny,” “reactionary bulls**t,” and “religious bigot.” As with all liberal thought, they are defined by what they’re opposed to.

For instance, Manboobz took offense at TTH’s takedown of Sally Ride. He claims that Sally Ride inspired millions of little girls around the world. He goes on to add, “And I can only imagine that the thought of Ride now inspiring gay children strikes Wood with dread.” I’ll tell you what strikes me with dread, not to mention nausea: anyone who is capable of thinking of a child as “gay.”

All of these blogs have open comments; the comments are not interesting and they could not accurately be called “discussions.” Manboobz does not discuss just what he knows about little girls and what inspires them. I’m positively certain he knows nothing.

The open comments of these blogs are just the usual dreary liberal canards: “Laura Wood—can’t stand her. Her arguments are worthless. Those religious extremists are so narrow-minded.” Let’s hear your arguments then. I would like to see the tiniest shred of evidence that more than a small minority of girls have ever cared much about Sally Ride. Let’s see if you can rationalize referring to a child as “gay” without sounding like a creep.

This is not to put down open comments features—they have their place. When the Daily Mail runs a story about Kim Kardashian or Angelina Jolie, you can see from the open comments how much people despise celebrities. That let’s you know there are other sane people out there after all. When it comes to the mainstream print media, the open comments are usually the only thing worth reading.

I enjoyed discovering Manboobz and the other heckler-blogs because, without meaning to, they show how fine TTH is by comparison. I don’t know of another site that combines art, politics, world affairs, and social analysis with such cachet. It has the mark of a distinctive personality. This would not be possible unless someone was at the helm. Laura Wood does not post anywhere near all the content I send her. I wouldn’t want her to. She alone is in a position to see all of the comments that come in and to decide how she wants to steer the discussion, and she does so impeccably, with elegance and verve.

This cannot be achieved on a site where every post is followed by a laundry list of open comments. People should take care to write good blog content, but they won’t if they don’t have to. That is why blogs with open comments are always dominated by blabbermouths who have to have their say, and not people who want serious, thoughtful discussion. If you can name a site that proves otherwise, let’s see it.

Laura writes:

Thank you.

—- Comments —

Kevin M. writes:

Illuminating post. So WHY (?!?!?!?!?!) is Laura Wood’s blog so exquisitely free from the fecal mendacity that so plagues other sites? How does this happen? This mystery grates upon society’s finer sensibilities like a rasp.

Answer: She monitors the email she gets.

Go spend an afternoon reading the contributions on Youtube or CNN (the two most decrepit sites, judging by the viewer postings, IMHO). You’d think the human race should be exterminated for the good of all animal life.

I like this blog for its refinement, attention to whatever decency has survived in society, and its optimism for the future of humanity.

Manboobz is run by David Futrelle, a bloated beta male who supplicates his integrity–whatever he might have–to the aim of feminist pandering. He is a joke without a punchline, much like the college professor who recently bashed the human male in the NYT for his inability to grow a uterus or produce milk. I’ll bet one of my kidneys against a jelly doughnut that Futrelle dreams of being reincarnated as Rosie O’Donnell.

KUTGW, Laura!

Laura writes:

Thanks.

(I had to look up what KUTGW meant.)

Mary writes:

I’ve been away and missed this conversation.

Laura Wood is the fine curator of a fine blog. The only downside to TTH is that after following it for a while I have no patience left for open comments on blogs at all. I have come to the conclusion that by following the blueprint of this one many blogs would be improved, not by squelching dissenting views but to ensure that they are actually interesting and therefore worth reading. I am always interested to hear another perspective but don’t want my time wasted.

Jen made me sad; she was so out of her depths. And how can a married woman who brags about the unspeakable inspire anything but pity anyway?Liberals have still not accepted that they are no longer the counter-culture. They are the mainstream. Their view of things is ubiquitous. The citizenry are forcefed. For heaven’s sake, men are marrying men. And they’re still not content?

To my call for a return to the days of the social stigma I would like to add a call for the renewed and proper use of the word pervert. The image of Archie Bunker is the only one most people get when they hear this word, hence Jen’s lack of understanding. Maybe a proper understanding of perversion would help curb the cultural descent we are currently experiencing. You never hear the terms voyeur or exhibitionist anymore but not so long ago they were criminals of the ickiest and most shameful kind. Does the average young male viewer of porn realize what he is taking part in? Telling him his behavior is perverted might give him pause. Or he may just laugh it off like Jen. Poor Jen. Poor America.

Many thanks to Laure for TTH.

Laura writes:

Thank you. I’ve spoiled you.

John writes:

Manboobz. What an appropriate name (as it refers to intelligence, not the female anatomy). Leftists regard themselves as superior intellects, but when it comes to debate they so commonly resort to insults and gutter language. You would think our intellectual betters could do better than that.

Laura writes:

Our enemies are not worthy of us.

Terry Morris writes:

Well, people like Jen have no interest in getting to the meat of a subject, they simply get twisted out of shape over something someone writes that they disagree with, and then react to it. That she can’t go off the rails and disrupt everything at the Thinking Housewife doesn’t sit well with Jen. She and her kind remind me of a six or seven-year-old boy I saw near the toy dept. in a local Walmart sometime back. His mother – an extremely patient woman – would not allow him into the toy section, and he was throwing a fit in reaction.

She calmly asked, “Now honey, why can’t we go to the toy aisles?”

To which he answered, at the top of his lungs and angrily, “BECAUSE I’M BAD! I’M ALWAYS BAD!” as she calmly pushed her buggy to the front of the store, him in toe, screaming all the way.

Joe A. writes:

My favorite Anglican news site, VirtueOnline, recently migrated from a closely moderated, closed membership comment feature (no hard feelings, btw, even though they permabanned me, lol!) to Disqus. The entire tenor of the site, the discussion, and quality of thought degenerated immediately with typically juvenile name calling, absurdities and pubescent insults.

Surely Laura, you well know that hecklers come with the territory when you’re making people think. Indifferent silence is the real enemy of changing minds and, God willing, that won’t come to TTH any time soon.

Laura writes:

Thank you. I realize that.

Jesse Powell writes:

Of course this site is more refined and civilized than your average feminist site. There really is no comparison not only in its civilized tone but also in the depth and piercing insight of its observations. It apparently drives feminists crazy that they are not allowed in to disrupt our peaceful environment with their screaming and profanity.

To switch to political commentary, Manboobz is an interesting site; it’s been following the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) for a long time. It used to critique this site very rarely but more recently Manboobz has been giving this site a lot more coverage. In addition, Manboobz also has been doing articles on more mainstream conservative commentary recently (Ann Coulter and National Review being current examples).

So why is Manboobz (David Futrelle) branching out from his core subject of MRA (Men’s Rights Activist) ridicule?

[Laura writes: I cannot take someone who calls himself "Manboobz" seriously. I have not read this site and am not interested in reading it. The name is too much of a barrier to cross.]

The MRM has two aspects; criticizing feminism and encouraging male narcissism. This site agrees with the criticizing feminism part but disagrees strongly with the male narcissism part. A feminist however, such as David Futrelle, will be inclined to see this website as being similar to “men’s rights” due to its criticism of feminism. More importantly, Christian rhetoric is becoming more common in the MRM, perhaps leading someone like Futrelle to believe the two spheres have much in common. This is why I think Manboobz’s coverage of this website has been growing.

As to why Manboobz is covering more mainstream conservative commentary more, I think this is because anti-feminist commentary is becoming more common and more strident among mainstream conservatives. Futrelle therefore sees these conservatives as “mimicking MRA talking points” and then covers them on his blog.

Michael writes:

Thinking, while you don’t have open comments on your site, I think that is great. The internet is cluttered with trash, advertising, fools that like to argue at the keyboard, etc. Reading comments by readers usually makes me regret reading the actual post, especially gun blogs! What I like about this site is its simplicity, clean lines, easy to read and understand. Very well done without hyperbole, please try to leave it that way.

Jane S. writes:

Manboobz and the other hecklers did the right thing. Instead of whining that Laura Wood won’t post their comments on her site, they started their own blogs. If you know better how to run a blog, then start your own. Then they loaded their blogs with all the comments that Laura would have refused to print, so we can see what we’re missing, and be glad.

Jen believes what she’s always heard–that in order for a discussion to be stimulating and thought-provoking, it has to be completely free of constraints, where people are free to say absolutely anything they want. Discussions like that have their uses. For example, we now have proof that Manboobz and his ilk think that it’s appropriate to think of children as gay. If we accused them of thinking that, they’d dismiss us as reactionary religious extremists, but now they’ve outed themselves so we don’t have to. It’s useful sometimes to have people blurt out what they’re thinking, that way you find out exactly what’s in their heads.

But discussions like that would not have a place on TTH, nor any site that is dedicated to traditional culture and values. The kind of site that makes you run and check out a book you’ve never read before, or check out an artist you may have overlooked. The kind of site that causes you to hone your writing, because if it’s sloppy or beside the point, it won’t get posted. This kind of discourse has become so scarce, a lot of people don’t even know what it is. Nowadays, schoolkids can write whatever they want on a paper, hand it in, and get an A. No wonder they think everything they say is worth paying attention to.

Susan G. writes:

The problem I find with open comments on blogs is that they too often turn into slanging matches between two or more commenters, with the participants arguing heatedly with each other over some point or other that one of them has raised, often far from the issue at hand. On occasion, it can degenerate into the exchange of mindless insults.

Years ago, the comments on the American Renaissance online site, amren.com, used to be moderated, and they were well done and informative. (I believe that Ian Jobling was the webmaster at that time.) “Trolls” were not allowed in, by and large, and if someone replied to a remark from another commenter, it was only to provide useful data or arguments to further the discussion. No more, alas: the comments on that site now appear almost entirely unedited, which is to say unmediated by any guiding intelligence. Apart from the suppression of outright abuse and profanity, the only regular editing feature I have observed is the typographical convention of progressively deeper indenting of comments as they grow more and more particularly addressed to an individual writer’s remarks. But when the comments become a dialogue between two idiots, who cares?

Ben J. writes:

One of the main reasons I read your blog is the lack of open comments. Your sight is readable, cogent, and edifying, because you filter out the fools. I’m sure it’s a lot of work, but I really do appreciate it. I guess I don’t suffer fools very well, and in the age of the internet it’s a bigger problem than ever. Never, in human history, has such a large group of fools been given such large and unfettered access to the public. (“A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind.” Proverbs 18:2) I propose you market your blog as a “fool free zone”… If people want to be innundated in the tide of scoffers they can go waste their time elsewhere online.

I also like the simple white background with black text. No silly logos, no annoying ads, no visual assault of peculiar colors. It’s easy to read, like a book. I also appreciate your standards in the English language. I was raised and educated to use proper grammar and spelling, and it really bothers me that poor use of the English language is becomming broadly accepted in society.

When I read your posts and the comments you attach, I always come away with something, improved understanding, and knowledge. I read the issues of the day discussed logically and intelligently. On occasion, some real art is brought to my attention.

Keep up the good work. I sent a donation through PayPal, I know it will be put to good use.

Laura writes:

Thank you for the donation and the praise.

I make editing errors, and I am always thankful when readers write in to alert me to any typos or grammatical mistakes.

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