Over the years, a number of studies have pointed out that, in the "real world," men tend to interrupt women more often than other men, and far more often than women interrupt either men or other women.
Theoretically, in the world of the internet, this will happen much less frequently. On a blog or discussion board, there's simply no way to interrupt a person, right? No one can even read what they've had to say until they've written it out entirely, proofread it, and so on.
In practice, however, it seems that men have simply found a new way to interrupt -- the all too common "thread drift" (or "derailment"). Now, I'm not saying that thread drift, to one extent or another, isn't natural (in many cases it is). Nor am I saying that women never engage in it (directly or indirectly). But, in my experience, the most egregious offenses have been done by men. In fact, I pretty much gave up posting any threads about a month back (and then went on to create this new blog) because I was so sick of the flagrant disregard for what I was saying, and the constant need to dramatically drift the thread onto an entirely different subject within the first couple of posts. Admittedly, this was due to a particular man at the time, but it made me take a closer look at other instances where it had happened, and sure enough, it was primarily men. Some of the men were self-proclaimed anti-feminists, others were self-proclaimed [pro-]feminists.
As I said, there are definitely times when thread drift just naturally occurs during the course of a conversation. And I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about total thread derailment. What I see happening, more often than not, is a few men who suddenly feel that they are not a part of the conversation -- either because they don't have enough knowledge about the subject matter, or it is simply of no interest to them. Rather than simply sitting back and listening for a change, they attempt to change the subject entirely. Their feelings of entitlement allow them to do this without nary a shred of remorse. Hell, in most cases, I'd suppose, it allows them to do this without nary a shred of recognition of what they are doing.
In the "civility" thread (ironically), this happened again -- with Rad Geek and Foolish Owl leading the way. It started out pretty typical -- men, unable to join the conversation as it is, change the subject in order to be able to engage in some conversation. This time, however, they were asked (politely) to stop their derailment, and even given an alternative thread in which to discuss their obviously important discussion. (Yes, this polite request was made by a man -- credit where credit is due.) Yet, that still didn't seem to be enough. Foolish Owl had to continue on with his oh-so-important response, ending it with a suggestion that they take Amp's advice (thereby acknowledging that he did, in fact, see the request, and simply chose to ignore it).
Jesus Christ this is so fucking classic.
Either the thread drift is distracting or it isn’t. How very goddamned male to go ahead and DO WHAT YOU WERE JUST ASKED NOT TO DO in order to get a word in and then SUGGEST THAT YOUR OPPONENT BE THE FIRST TO PLAY BY THE RULES.
So civil! So polite! No personal attacks in Owl’s posts, nosirree! Just the classic war of attrition against women, in which space is taken up by “reasonable” men who say things like I don’t think it makes sense to argue that civility or debate are inherently patriarchal, or otherwise inherently oppressive and then politely continue doing whatever the fuck they feel like doing, wherever and however they feel like doing it.
Hostile? Yeah, but I can understand. It is "fucking classic." Some men (Owl and Jake Squid) have gone on to say that they don't understand where the hostility is coming from -- that they honestly don't understand what the serious offense is, and therefore the hostility is unwarranted and instead, Funnie (or women, in general, perhaps) should have spent more of her/our energy on even more handholding and explaining.
Frankly, I cannot understand why this isn't as plain as day -- but then, I don't have the male entitlement that would allow me not to see what is so incredibly rude about Owl's actions. And, even more importantly, I'm sick to death of spending more time and energy on handholding and educating than anything else. Funnie did explain what was wrong -- what pissed her off. Maybe men should spend more of their time and energy really listening to what is being said. It's really not a different language.
This is but one example (among many) of the double standards of "civility" enforced by men; of a civility that by and large benefits the oppressor and keeps the oppressed silent.