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molecule
I've long been a reader of consumerist.com, which can be a very useful site. Among the things I've learned include that you don't have to show your receipt to door checkers [except in club stores like Costco where there's a membership agreement], 1001 "executive contact" email addresses for a variety of companies, and a pile of financial advice that's great if you're employed and aren't living on threads and used gum.




Consumerist.com has a Comments Code, a code of conduct for comments on the site. Said comment code includes:

No sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia or hatred.

and:

What happens if I break these rules?

You may be banned, or, perhaps worse, "disemvoweled." We might warn you in the comments. We also might not. If you ignore a warning, you will probably be banned. If you feel your ban is unwarranted, email your appeal to moderator@consumerist.com and we'll see if we can work it out.


Recently there was a post, Did Citibank Fire This Woman For Being Too Sexy?.

After reading the comments, I sent the following message to the comments moderator, the author of the article, and the two co-Managing Editors:


If I started flagging comments I'd be here all night.

"her damn fine rack" "don't make a pretty woman your wife"

"i bet she goes into modeling now" "we need more pics"

"i would default on my mortgage for a spanking from her"

"she is damn fine" "her breasts ARE distractingly large"

"i'll be in my bunk"

---------------------

Must I go on? I know Consumerist.com strives to be a professional
place for the reporting of consumer issues. Please do not let this
turn into another website where women are considered merely objects
for such distasteful comments.

And yes, I realize the irony of saying that given the topic of this article!

Thank you
Moose


No response came.

Consumerist recently posted a followup article. If you scroll down you can see where I commented, thus:



Thanks again, Consumerist, for another playground for sexist jerks. You ignore comments about it, you ignore email about it. The issue is supposed to be how poorly Citibank treats their employees. Instead it again turns into a comments showing that women are really just eye-candy and meat to most of your readers.

Part of the irony is that this behaviour is exactly why this woman lost her job, and the nitwits here commenting about her looks aren't even smart enough to understand that.

The rest of the irony is that I expect to get disemvoweled for doing the worst thing possible here -- making a negative comment about the site. Woe is me, woe is you.


To which the following response appeared from the moderator:



Mizmoose, I appreciate that this is a sensitive topic for you, but as you know very well, it's not appropriate to grind this axe in an unrelated thread.

To explain to all: guys jostling each other to whistle over an attractive woman isn't sexism. I wouldn't start putting down the banhammer on women (or anyone) who did the same thing with an attractive male. I didn't come down against people who didn't like the beefy bodybuilder, either. If that's something you're not comfortable with, that's fine, but it's not against our rules. I can't sanction people for doing something that we allow, and it doesn't make it okay to break the rules yourself.

I know the comment flagging button can be dodgy. You can always contact me at moderator@consumerist.com. I check in often and if I think the comment's OK, I'll let you know too.


I cannot log into the site anymore; I've been banned. But this isn't about me being banned. It's not even about whether it was appropriate for me to lose my temper in the comments. [It wasn't the right thing to do. I am now being told, "No email was received" about the above email I sent.]



So just to be clear here, Official Consumerist.com policy is "guys jostling each other to whistle over an attractive woman isn't sexism."

Just a side note: Consumerist.com is now owned by the Consumers Union, the people who publish Consumer's Report and test drive 10001 consumer products. They are run by a board of directors elected by members.

ETA: Further communication from Consumerist, clarifying their position.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
cfox
Jun. 8th, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
White-magic got pretty well derailed by that news article, too. It seems it's rather easy to talk about how much nipple is ok to show in the workplace, and how troublesome it is to hide nipples completely (which doesn't go well for either side). There was plenty of black and white in the case (like the boss telling a 5'4" woman that she couldn't wear heels) to really make the breasts irrelevant.
agent_dani
Jun. 8th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Apparently, it's some sort of "compliment" in many minds. Sexism: we're soaking in it. :(
tisiphone
Jun. 11th, 2010 10:58 am (UTC)
To explain to all: guys jostling each other to whistle over an attractive woman isn't sexism

And this is why I no longer read the Consumerist.

(Well, that and the endless chorus of BOOTSTRAPS BOOTSTRAP BOOTSTRAPS.)

(Here from supergee :)
mizmoose
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

I'm a little disheartened at how few comments I've received. If this were a site like Fark you would expect this kind of nonsense.

The attitude of many seems to be, "So what, there are idiots everywhere" which doesn't do anything to stop the problem. You expect sexist nonsense from junk sites like, say, Fark. You should expect better from a site that claims to be "helping" people.

tisiphone
Jun. 11th, 2010 05:23 pm (UTC)
I've long since given up expecting that - that particular site's mind set is about helping people, but from a very selfish perspective, and they don't really venture very far from a mainstream mindset. Though, I have to admit I'm most perplexed at the assertion that wolf-whistling is not sexism. That's the absolute nadir of basic sexist acts that everyone should recognize.
woozle
Jun. 13th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
FWIW
For what it's worth, I've posted a reference link to this on Issuepedia. Please feel free to add additional details or comments.

Also fwiw, the comment you left on the follow-up article didn't seem out of line to me.

Also also... it wasn't that the commenters were "appreciating" a woman's physical features; it was the way they both elevated those features while denigrating her overall at the same time. You don't generally hear women doing that when they "[comment] on his hot-or-notness".

The admin was free to disagree with you, but it was not necessary for her to be dismissive and demeaning in the process -- or to ban you without warning or explanation.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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molecule
mizmoose
Moose J. Finklestein

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