I Guess I’ll Take a Number

Personally, I thought Xeni Sucks was a jejune and solipsistic effort to gain attention. When somebody forwarded me the link, I clicked on it, yawned and then left. Little did I realize that it was “a blog written by a man who virulently hates a female tech journalist, and writes in detail *several* times a day including his violent fantasies about her, and her family (who he names).” It would help if Violent Blue offered specific examples to support her thesis here. Because skimming through the Xeni Sucks site, I can find nothing on it that reflects her findings. Yes, there is a good deal of juvenile (if obsessive) banter which attempts to mock Xeni’s posts at Boing Boing. Yes, the proprietor of Xeni Sucks should probably get a life.

For anyone who believes in women’s rights, I can see why anyone paying attention to the news would be angry. I certainly am. But while I agree that the gender chasm between tech journalists definitely needs to be rectified in some way, does this mean that a journalist’s work shouldn’t be criticized? Even in a childish way?

Looking at the Xeni Sucks site, I see nothing which corroborates Violet Blue’s findings. I see nothing in the cited New York Times article that suggests that badmouthing women is a good thing. And if Violet’s post were broached by a copy editor, it might be construed as unfounded libel.

And there’s still the flimsy reasoning. To offer a corollary, by Violet’s standards, the many posts here calling into question Caitlin Flanagan’s smarts might suggest that Return of the Reluctant is “a blog written by a man who virulently hates a female journalist, and writes in detail *several* times a week.” Does this make me a sexist? Or a women hater? (If so, I marvel at the irony of my Caitlin Flanagan-themed posts, all of them inveighing against sexism, being construed as sexist.) I live in San Francisco. Should I be next in line to get my ass kicked?

(via Metafilter)


  1. As the “proprietor” of xenisucks.com, I’m fully aware that the site is juvenile. Mostly, it’s written in character, and by no means is it intended to be an academic dissection of what’s wrong with Xeni’s “blogging” or “journalism”. However, by no means was it created to “gain attention”. In fact, had metafilter and Xeni, herself, not linked to it, it’d be an attentionless entry in my httpd configuration files, and a couple of entries mocking Xeni. I registered it as a joke, and spent less than half an hour polishing the code and content for it.

    What amazes me is what the reaction has been to it; for the most part, all the direct contact I’ve received about it has been overwhelmingly supportive, usually being people who used to like BoingBoing a lot more when they allowed comments, and before they devolved into a 75%-ad-dominated self-promotional venue for a couple of the authors there. Meanwhile, certain people involved in the wikipedia kerfluffle, some of the metafilter folk, and Violet Blue totally lost it over the joke blog. Part of me simply finds it amusing. I spend very little time per day adding content to the site, so I would hardly characterize it’s maintenance as “obsessive”, nor do I feel I need to “get a life”, but that’s just my perspective. Just don’t come to your conclusion based on fallacious perspectives on how much time this takes out of my otherwise-normal life.

    However, at no time has any of the content I’ve written for it (nor any of the content written by co-authors who would prefer to remain anonymous) consisted of “violent fantasies”, nor, for that matter garden-variety sexual fantasies, and Violet Blue is just plain wrong when she makes that assertion, repeatedly. Is that libel? Most likely. Ultimately, that’s her problem, not mine. If she wants to call me a misogynist, and insist that the “FBI and local police should monitor me”, it only reflects poorly on her. Xenisucks.com is there; the records are viewable by anyone with a browser, and anyone who cares to look can see that for themselves.

    In the end, nutjobs do what nutjobs do. I emailed her at the address listed as the WHOIS contact for her site, challenging her to back up *any* of her accusations, and, not surprisingly, she’s not bothered to respond. Ironically, xenisucks.com allows users to comment on the content *on the site*, yet the same cannot be said for either “tinynibbles” or BoingBoing. I guess “open discourse” only applies to those of like mind, to certain bloggers.

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