The Sexist

Should The Sexist Moderate Comments?

Currently, The Sexist has no comments policy. You write a comment that isn't trying to sell me penis-enlargement pills, and your words will likely appear in the illustrious forum of the Sexist comments field. Even if your great insight consists only of a racial slur written in all-caps.

This lax approach to comment moderation has, at times, provided a window into the darkest reaches of the Sexist reader's mind. Take this comment for example, submitted in a discussion of the phrase "no homo":

Love thy Brother. NOT TO LOVE THY BROTHER! What is the misconception here? YOU’RE GAY, FAGGOT, BITCH ASS, GUNK, FUCKBOY…WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM WITH EVERYBODY ELSE, MR./MISS/MRS. THANG? The general public is fed up with you ass, lip and dick hunting problems. Lets move on!

Or this one, from a user calling him- or herself "Fatties," on a discussion of Tucker Max's feature film:

Stop whining, dykes.

Or how about this one, replying to a story about a transgender sorority member:

I would tell you to bite me, but you might be a fucking “DRAG Queen” I am strictly pussy and I don’t do dicks. For the record, I only date white women, because too many black women are angry as hell. Why are most black women angry? Is this why so many of them are Dykes?

Now, how about this one, weighing in on a Real World cast member's sexual assault cartoons:

You can have an opinion about what is a “threat” and what isn’t. But those are “fightin’ words” in a court of law. Just like you may think that someone is a bitch or a whore or a nigger, but you actually say that and you’re opening a can of worms that may never go back to where it was when you said it. That’s the world that we live in today, and we live in that world because women think that it’s necessary and there are, unfortunately, certain men who are PW’ed enough to support them. I’m not saying that there aren’t legitimate “threats” but surely we all have different opinions about what they are.

The horror, the horror, etc. And so, in the grand tradition of this comment thread over at City Paper's news blog City Desk, I ask you: Should this blog moderate comments? If so, what standards should we use to determine which comments fly and which ones don't? If you comment here—and especially if you don't!—I'd be interested to hear any insights you have into the Sexist commenting experience.

Photo via the Library of Congress

  • Nick H

    I vote yes to moderate moderation, on the assumption that homogeneity is intellectual suicide.

    Yes, keep out the vitriol; no, don't get rid of dissenting opinions.

    It's a blog, not the wall of a truck-stop bathroom.

  • Abbey

    I've always thought that diemvowelling the really trollish comments was a great way to go - you can still figure out what it says if you want to, but you don't have to decode it if you're not interested.

  • Abbey

    I meant to say disemvoweling, or removing the vowels from comments (like Boing Boing does).

  • Ben “Buttfuckme” Bernacke

    Where's Timmy? Tim Geithner, get your ass over here. Bend over - ok, ok - now wiggle your ass, yeah, that's right, yeah, that's right, who's your daddy? Yeah, the Federal Reserve's your daddy, that's right. Yeah, keep wiggling your ass, keep wiggling your ass, that's it -


  • Ben “Buttfuckme” Bernacke

    oh I forgot to say - please censor any comment that has to do with Ben Bernacke, Time Magazine Man of the Year, the Federal Reserve, or my girlfriend, Timmy Geithner.

  • Ben “Buttfuckme” Bernacke

    oh & jt1 or whateverthefuck his name is - that guy is a douche bag.

  • Jeremy “Ironic” Irons

    Let's just all retreat into our echo chambers & listen to people exactly like we are. We'll learn a lot that way.

  • Amy

    I wouldn't mind if you wanted to moderate the comments that contain personal attacks, like the guy who told me I'm going to get raped (and heavily implied I would deserve it). Those are pointless. Or the guy who told another commenter that she's crazy/selfish/perpetuating rape because she didn't report hers. Those types of comments have no place anywhere. It's obvious trolling.

    I'm in favor of letting the generic crazy racist, sexist, homophobic comments stand. I kind of agree with Comrade Al in that it's important to demonstrate that these people/opinions still exist. But the personal attacks are off-putting and derailing.

  • CTD

    Well, it is a feminist blog, right?

    Doesn't that mean it must be turned into a "safe space"/hug box at some point?

  • DoctorJay

    Sites like allow editors to turn on and off certain comments at their discretion. allows editors to kick a comment "to the bleachers", which moves the comment to the bottom of the page, removing it from the flow of the conversation.

    "We don't kick critical ones there. We kick stupid or offensive or off-point ones there."