My fault, of course. The most famous classic blunder is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia,” and the second is “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line,” (is that anti-Sicilian? if so, sorry), but the third is, “Don’t comment on the internet unless you’re prepared for everything to go horribly, horribly wrong.”

So how did this happen today? It didn’t, actually. It happened about eight weeks ago on someone else’s blog, and I should have seen it coming. At the time, I had a couple of comments and then the dude* took it to twitter because he felt all attacked and shit.  This comment, a reply to my attempt to find common ground with a comic creator who was defending Penny Arcade, was unmoderated and landed in my inbox today, swiftly followed by this one. Apparently this is because the comic dude confronted the blog-having dude about allowing me to “attack” him (or so I gather from the dude’s recent tweets).

I would like to say two things about this, which I will do below.

First, I am sorry that I hurt your feelings, mister dude who has 9,000 twitter followers, a well known internet comic, and sells merchandise based on said comic, by acknowledging that you have dude privilege.

Second, I’m sorry that you’re such a douchecanoe that you think that my acknowledgement of your dude privilege constitutes an attack.

It’s actually pretty fucking petty for you to call me condescending and insulting after I bent over backwards to give you the benefit of the doubt on every point (e.g., “I think we’re on the same page here” and “I appreciate seeing your POV as a comic creator”). Instead of addressing the specific comments I made about the situation, you objected to my speculating as to the reasoning behind our difference of opinion. I’m not sure what you intended to achieve with that comment, but if it was making me stay up and blog about it, congratulations! You win!

Calling you a douchecanoe, as I did above, is not an attack either. It’s a childish insult, but please note that I waited until you accused me of bad faith and showed that you have little to no understanding of the concept of privilege and such a chip on your shoulder that you complain about it two months later.

Confidential to the owner* of the blog that hosted the original exchange: I do understand that your friend is way more important than me, who you don’t know from a stick in the mud, and I’m being entirely sincere about this. Thanks for being so generous with your comments in the first place. You could easily have stopped me from coming in to your space and intruding on a semi-private discussion with your friend, and instead you let me express myself. I’m very grateful for your understanding and I hope that I didn’t intrude on your hospitality.

If anyone cares, here is the text of the comment I left after the original comments got mentioned on twitter:

Tuesday, 1st February, 2011 at 11:17 | #8

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

My apologies to [redacted] for continuing this conversation on his post, but I saw your tweets about this and wasn’t sure how else to respond (I don’t have Twitter).

When I said, “I think we differ by degree about what constitutes “rape apology” – I attribute that to your privilege and you can attribute it to my being steeped in feminist study, but I think we’re on the same page here,” I wasn’t being sarcastic. At all. I honestly do believe that you asking people like me and Kirby to stop using the term “rape apologist” casually is a sign of your privilege. As I was writing the comment, I stopped to think about why you might believe that I have a different definition of what constitutes rape apology than you do, and I guessed that you might assume it has to do with being an anti-rape activist and feminist. I was trying to acknowledge that you do have an understanding of rape culture and that rape apology exists; I was allowing that although we disagree on terminology, we both see that rape culture is bad.

FWIW, I’m not taking a feminist studies class as you suggested. I’m studying feminism through books, blogs, and activism. Even if I were taking a class, I’m not sure how that would make me privileged in this situation except in my awareness of rape culture. Which you also have, so…?


*Sure, I’ve got links galore**, but I’d rather not show up on a search for these folks’ names, so I’m leaving them out.

**If there isn’t already a golf course/sausage shop somewhere in the world called Links Galore, why not?