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Rules of Engagement

Gotta do a little bit of business here.

So…there’s been kind of a sh*tstorm in the Comments lately, and I’m hearing about it both inside and outside the threads. I guess it’s time for a formal policy. Consider this a rough draft – I’m open to suggestions from readers, so fire away.

Good Comments DO:

  1. Objectively diagnose, interpret, argue, debate or analyze issues as raised by the blogger or another commenter.
  2. Specifically address the blog post to which they are linked.
  3. Share personal anecdotes and viewpoints, though personal experience should not trump objective data.
  4. Offer constructive criticism of the blogger, the posts, comments by other readers, or any objectively debated topic within the Comments.
  5. Provide support and counsel for anyone seeking it.
  6. Share knowledge, including links, when germane to the discussion at hand.
  7. Offer suggestions, new ideas and potential constructive solutions.
  8. Make their point succinctly. Comments that are TL;DR often get passed over even when they contain excellent points. 

Good Comments DO NOT:

  1. Assume anything about a person’s character, behavior, past or future actions.
  2. Offer judgment of another commenter’s morals, character, or appearance. 
  3. Predict outcomes for individual commenters based on certain behaviors. 
  4. Include gratuitous bitching, ranting, whining or complaining about the state of society, the United States, women, men, or anything else. 
  5. Repeat one’s point of view ad infinitum
  6. Include aggressive profanity addressed to another person.
  7. Do not include sweeping generalizations about any group of people based on sex, religion, race, age, profession, income, or education level.
  8. Hate, gloat or delight in another’s misfortune. 

My role:

Regular readers know that I am loathe to moderate, edit or delete comments. That is one of the reasons we have such a lively, intelligent debate going on here most of the time. However, there is clearly a need for me to be more active in this regard. Here is my policy:
  1. I never edit comments, except at the request of the commenter. 
  2. I will delete comments that clearly violate the above ground rules. 
  3. I will not explain individual deletions, but if you find your comments disappearing, feel free to ask for feedback.
  4. The spam filter is temperamental, and I get around it by whitelisting known commenters. In order to be whitelisted, you must provide a valid email address. Feel free to request whitelisting if you find your comments going into moderation for no good reason.
  5. Readers producing several unproductive comments may be placed in moderation. 
  6. Commenters whose purpose is to express rage, threats, or accusation will be banned.
  7. Commenters who insist on going off topic or highjacking threads will be banned.
  8. You are responsible for your words. By posting your comments to the blog you are granting me the right, in perpetuity, to use, quote, alter, and/or display them however I see fit. If this concerns you, use a pseudonym.
Once I finalize this policy, I’ll post it permanently on the About page.
  • Pip

    Susan: There is also behavior pattern that happens occasionally in the comment sections to these blogs:

    1) A person comes in, asking to make a point, for support, for advice, whatever.

    2) Other posters respond.

    3) The person rejects nearly everything said to him and/or her, preferring to view it as hostility, returning hostility, using talking-point buzzwords picked up elsewhere, and going out of his and/or her way to be “provocative.”

    4) Some people try to explain more carefully.  Some people lose their temper.  In other words, they act like people.

    5) Optional bonus round: The person gives a haughty good-bye forever message, which usually involves heavy judgments of anybody as a final slap in the face upon those who did not act truculent

    After it happens five or six times, it’s hard to get worked up about it. These people are not in a mental space where they’re going to listen, not necessarily agreeing, and generate they’re own plan of what they need. They’re in a position where they’re going to reject anything that anybody says which does not provide them a “pity fix”.

    Now, I’ve seen bunches of posters like that. The only reasonable interpretation of the behavior is that these people want to play the victim game in the sense that they want to be told that everything they say is right, they’re unique, there’s nothing they can do, and it’s hopeless.  

    I personally don’t like to do this.  I think it’s codependent and it doesn’t really help.  I’m proactive. If someone in my life says, “I want redirect the negative internal energy I feel and acquire the confidence to do something I want,” then I’ll support her in her quest to acquire and use that confidence.  If, however, someone says, “I want others to reinforce my feelings of self-pity,” and if they don’t, they’re using “shaming language,” then I say “OK, you win” and leave the job to somebody else.

    In any event, once one sees it as a game, it’s hard not to feel that one has been set up all along in a power play, suckered into trying to give information in good faith, just so that he/she can have somebody to slap.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Pip
      Thanks for your comment. I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right, it does happen a lot with drive-by commenters. This is also the form that people with a political agenda use, I find. They come here with both barrels blazing, use a ton of snark, then go off to other blogs to bitch up a storm. It’s completely pointless, though it often serves to get everybody riled up, including me.

      I think your point is well taken – the motive of the commenter has a direct bearing on the quality and usefulness of the commentary.

  • lovelost

    @Susan

    Good example that even adults sometimes require “Adult Supervision”.

  • gracia19

    Adult requiring “Adult Supervision?” haha! that’s a good one! Yeah, I totally agree,and sometime having guidelines like this helps. (Hopefully) But some are just to narrow minded or just have a “father didn’t love me” complex and hating everything they see.

  • Ramble

    Good Comments DO:
    Often refer to various guys as douchebags, asshats and manwhores while saying that you are not here to judge.

    :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Good Comments DO:
      Often refer to various guys as douchebags, asshats and manwhores while saying that you are not here to judge.

      I’ve done that to individual commenters? I’m talking about respecting people in the threads here, not withholding judgment for sluts of either sex in general, which I certainly reserve the right to do. In fact, there are a few manwhores who are regulars here, and I am quite fond of them. I don’t think they feel particularly judged by me.

      Also, most guys consider manwhore a compliment.

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com MuleChewingBriars

    Welcome to a successful forum on the Internet.  Flamers will ruin it, but little can be done about the ephemeral nature of Internet fora in general.

    It was a peaceful and productive forum; lively, congenial and a bounteous source of useful information. Then one day, completely without warning, Godzilla arose from the depths and blew his scalding breath on everything in his path. A phalanx of Warriors mobilized to attack the monster, only to be crushed like so many toy tanks under Godzilla’s mighty feet. Godzilla soon reduced the forum to searing and consuming flames. Just as abruptly, he rumbled back beneath the waves, leaving all to tremble in fear of his return. Net life would never be the same. Sadly, many netizens who survive a Godzilla attack will become Xenophobes.

    Honest to Berniers, you need to go here. You’ll find all your HUS friends in residence.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Mule,

      Thanks for injecting some needed humor into the proceedings.

  • hunterX0506

    I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right, it does happen a lot with drive-by commenters. | :P

  • http://oldtimemoviereview.blogspot.com jamie

    The comments on the post “All the Single Ladies” were the worst.  I wanted to chime in because I had some thoughts on Bolick’s article, but after skimming the thread and seeing everyone hating on Kate and attacking her looks and character, I decided to keep my thoughts to myself.  (congratulations on getting into the Atlantic, btw)  Shame.  It might have been an interesting discussion if we could have discussed the article rather than the author’s bitchface, old age, entitlement, etc.

  • Ramble

    Jamie, I am curious, do remember who was the first person to judge her looks and character?

    * Remember, positive judgements are still judgements.

  • Ted D

    While I completely understand your need to tighten the rules here, I feel like I am destined for blacklisting based solely on my ability to hijack any and every thread I post on.

    I don’t do it on purpose, I swear!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ted D
      Haha, you know I have no problem with OT diversions. I often say they can be the most interesting part of a thread. But you’re a very productive and positive commenter. HIghjacking everyone to a bad place is obviously more problematic.

  • zed

    Shame. It might have been an interesting discussion if we could have discussed the article rather than the author’s … , entitlement, etc.

    And, then there are those who considered her sense of entitlement to be one of the most significant and discussion-worthy aspects of the article.

    As Ramble pointed out – some of the discussion was probably in response to the subtext of “how could any man in his right mind not want her?” I remember several woman who seemed absolutely sure that Allan’s replacement for her was lurking just over the horizon.

  • Ramble

    In fact, there are a few manwhores who are regulars here, and I am quite fond of them.

    And are their any whores (ya know, of the female persuasion) here that you are quite fond of?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      And are their any whores (ya know, of the female persuasion) here that you are quite fond of?

      Not on the comment threads, but there are a couple in my focus groups. :-(

  • Dogsquat

    Crap, I accidentally posted this under the wrong thread.  Here it is again, just in case anybody gives a shit:

     

    Susan, a good way to do “soft moderation” on the internet is to allow readers to upvote or downvote comments.  Go look at The Last Psychiatrist’s blog, or Scott Adam’s Dilbert blog – there are some good examples there.

    I used to be a moderator on another forum (I’m buddies with a guy you don’t like too much, actually) where we had a “Validation” tab.  The readers could “add” or “subtract” validation from a poster.  This effect was cumulative, and you could see the total results under the avatar for the poster.  We’d reset everybody’s validation about every two-three months or so – kept the quality of the posting up.

    One thing I think works way, way better is to disallow anonymous adding/subtracting.  Reddit has devolved into a closed minded Hive Mind because of this.  If you’re gonna “punish” somebody for their viewpoint, you’d better be able to back it up – even if it’s only visible to the person you’re downvoting.  At least you should have to show your face.

    You as a site admin (and any moderators you pick) should have the ability to see all of those comments, though.  That will cut down on harrassment.

    I really think you’ll have good results with a forum, as I’ve said before.

  • lovelost

    @Susan

    Addendum to the Good Comments DO NOT:

     

    4. Include gratuitous bitching, ranting, whining or complaining about the state of society, the United States, women, men, or anything else.

    I guess “all nationality” would be helpful. Let’s make HUS a global forum.

    Dream Big and Blog Big.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @lovelost
      Great point. There are actually quite a few readers here from outside the U.S. It’s American women who tend to get bashed here, and that’s what I was really getting at, but why not include everyone.

  • Dogsquat

    Don’t worry about the OT stuff, Ted D.

     

    You and me can go start our own blog about Pittsburgh if we get banned.

     

    Go Stillers!

  • dragnet

    Good of you post a policy–it’s overdue. This blog is has enough enough comments and is high profile enough to warrant an official comment policy.

    I think you may also want to require registraton to comment. This may go some ways toward clamping down on drive-bys.

  • Sassy6519

    I think those lists of comment and moderation credentials were very fair Susan. You get my vote of approval for sure.

  • Jim

    I’m a newbie to HUS, but from what little I’ve read, even at its worst, the back-and-forth between people here may get tense and bitter, but it’s tame compared to other blogs. If you want to see over the top profanity laced angry posts, go to any sports or politics related blog. Even from safe distances over the internet places like that leave me…well…fearful for American society. In contrast, commenters here may get snippy at moments but they seem more inclined to respond to posts in a relatively thoughtful manner.

    Besides, if the ideas people are presenting can’t stand up to the rigamorale of vigorous debate they really aren’t ideas worth defending in the first place.  As I stated previously, the content and comments at HUS are commendable Susan. FWIW, all that might be needed is a stated ’Code of Conduct’ prominently placed on the blog with you or other moderators reminding people of that CoC if things appear to get out of hand.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jim
      Thanks for the feedback, it is important to keep perspective. To be honest, I think we’ve got something unique here. Although we tend to get more male commenters and more female readers, I am not aware of any other blog with a very active coed comment section like this one, particularly one that discusses something so personal as mating. Most of us have some baggage, and the fact that we can do pretty well most of the time is a testament to the civility of everyone here.

      I think the changes we need are more in the line of tweaking than some big overhaul. Or perhaps it’s really just a reminder. And I do need to take responsibility for deleting comments that might offend. Little offends me, but that is probably too lenient a standard for my readers.

  • lovelost

    @Susan,

    You might also want to consider putting word limit on messages. Say 250 words. that will provide incentive to write succinct messages.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Word limits…I’m a member of Ricochet, where there is a 200-word limit on comments.It’s sometimes a little constraining, but I agree that very long comments can disrupt a thread. Maybe 250 or 300 words would work out well.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @david foster
      OK, that’s good to know about word limits. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • deti

    Ramble:  “And are their any whores (ya know, of the female persuasion) here that you are quite fond of?

    Susan:   “Not on the comment threads, but there are a couple in my focus groups. :-(”

    Oh, I don’t know.  We all kind of dig Ozy, the self-described HUS resident sex pozzie slut.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Oh, I don’t know. We all kind of dig Ozy, the self-described HUS resident sex pozzie slut.

      True! What’s not to love about Ozy? She is pure unconditional acceptance and amiability.

  • deti

    “Good comments DO NOT:  Include gratuitous bitching, ranting, whining or complaining about the state of society, the United States, women, men, or anything else.”

    Sometimes the SMP reflects on all these, and vice versa.  Is all that verboten now?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Sometimes the SMP reflects on all these, and vice versa. Is all that verboten now?

      I’m not sure what you mean, deti. I put in the word “gratuitous” because I understand that we all get emotional about some things, myself included. There are times when a rant is OK or even appropriate, and there are times when it’s not at all helpful. We all need to exercise our judgment on this, and nudge each other back into line when needed, IMO.

  • BSD

    Will this comment policy apply to everyone or will it only apply to newcomers or feminists? I notice there tend to be a lot of arguments between newcomers who disagree with the site and old timers of the site, and both tend to make assumptions on the past/future behaviors of the other, or assumptions about that person’s character/intelligence level.

    It’s easy to only allow rules apply to those you disagree with. If these rules were kept around I think virtually every commenter (with some exceptions) would be banned or put on moderation.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @BSD
      The rules will apply to everyone. I don’t think it will be necessary to moderate or ban very many people. I think people will respect the rules and work harder to be constructive. What absolutely must go is the male vs. female sniping that’s become too commonplace here. I’ll always enjoy sniping at feminists, however :-)

  • Passer_By

    @Susan

    “In fact, there are a few manwhores who are regulars here, and I am quite fond of them.”

    Preselection tingle!!

  • deti

    Susan @33:

    I think I get it.

  • Anacaona

    I like this policy except for not judging part, we talk about shames as a social intrasexual strategy and you cannot shame without judging. Maybe just trying to make sure the judging is at least fair and about actual facts and not presumptions judging on Kate Bollic was okay because she exposed her choices and actions in the past and we sure as hell hope anyone reading understand that she made a HUGE mistake and is paying for it and that even if female commenters find her attractive she is not a lesbian what women think of their looks is meaningless men are the ones that have the veto power on how much sexual power she still possessed and that is the way it is, accept it and move on.

    Calling a commenter that is trying to date a beta guy and is frustrated by it shallow and bitchy is uncalled for. I think judging in past actions should be part of the blog but all the “prophets” should keep it to themselves and try to advice the best possible women that are trying to do the right thing, YMMV.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Anacaona
      I’m really only concerned with judging other people in the threads. There have been times when I have published emails from women readers and the judgments from the guys have been extremely harsh. Some of it may be valid, at other times I think too much is assumed about the woman’s character. I have literally watched in horror as women have run away from the blog after they’ve been crucified by the commenters. Why is that a problem? Because most of the criticism was not constructive. It’s a lot more helpful to explain to someone why their actions are not producing the desired results than to cry Foul! and AWALT! We all have feelings, and most of the women who are regulars here are pretty damned feisty. Isabel, jamie, SayWhaat, yourself, Sassy and others who stop by occasionally. Your normal, average, 19 yo woman wouldn’t stand a chance here!

      Re Kate Bolick, I actually thought the criticism of her looks was out of line. It’s true that I introduced her in the post by referring to her as gorgeous, but I don’t understand why all day long men were determined to argue otherwise. I wasn’t suggesting men should wife her up, just that I found her attractive and delightful as a dinner companion. To each his own, her looks were not really particularly relevant to the story, though her age obviously was. In general, I think it’s fair to question her choices, her strategy, her writing, or her argument. Criticism of her looks was gratuitous, IMO.

  • Hope

    Darn. I like to make verbose, long-winded posts. Maybe I’ll actually start blogging again.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Hope
      Your posts are fine. I’m thinking of a few commenters who write excellent, thoughtful posts in one or two extremely long paragraphs. I want them to be read, but it needs to be easier on the eyes.

  • Anacaona

    Your normal, average, 19 yo woman wouldn’t stand a chance here!

    True very true

    Criticism of her looks was gratuitous, IMO.

    I actually found the whole discussion pretty enlightening. Women hate to be considered less sexually attractive than what they want to believe they are whether with age or weight, but then why? If you are more than the amount of men that find you attractive why would it bother you that is not something you can’t control? That letting yourself go is as bad as organizing gang bangs in frat parties for your SMP value as is every passing day?

    I think is ties up in the EPL and the “I’m too young yo get married!” fantasy. Also we are begining to hear for the first time in decades that men indeed care about looks ALOT and any straight female wanting to make it in the SMP needs to remember that. I wouldn’t want to lose that HUGE pearl of wisdom, feminists are the ones that keep “not comment on looks” PC policy, unless you are really skinny of course in wich case anorexic and unhealthy weight are thrown around like anvils in a Acme cartoon. Moderate it, make sure they use proper language but don’t ban it,. Young women need to be very aware that they don’t have all the time in the world to make a choice and that In and Out are not recreational harmless hobbies, desperately more than ever, YMMV of course.

  • Michael of Charlotte

    Yes please, especially

    4. Include gratuitous bitching, ranting, whining or complaining about the state of society, the United States, women, men, or anything else.

    I don’t understand why you’d come here as a biter divorced woman or a MGTOW and post how messed up the other sex is.  Hopefully, this stops it.

     

  • lovelost

    @Susan,

    Another comment on the Rules of Engagement. In the “My Role” section, the #8 says and I quote

    8. You are responsible for your words. By posting your comments to the blog you are granting me the right, in perpetuity, to use, quote, alter, and/or display them however I see fit. If this concerns you, use a pseudonym.

    You may want to consider changing it something of this.

    “you are granting me the right, in perpetuity, to use, quote, alter, and/or display them however I see fit both for commercial and non-commerical distribution. If this concerns you, use a pseudonym.”

    Since a lot of bloggers are using their dating experience to write books, e.g. MMSL, you may want to be explicit by mentioning that you intend to use positive and constructive feedback posted on the blog for commerical aka proprietary purposes.

    Thus, will provide additional layer of incentive for commentators to write something useful, instead of bashing.

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @lovelost
      That’s a great suggestion, I didn’t even think of that!

  • Ceer

    When a woman is complaining about not having a husband, It’s often useful to get a look at her picture to see what kind of experience she’s likely had with men.  To a man who’s posting about his relationship problems looking for a solution, the first question is almost always:  alpha or beta?  As it should be.  This distinction helps people understand the specifics at play.  Same thing with women…the concept happens to be beauty.

    Beautiful women have more and hotter men lining up for them and tend to be dumped less.  That said, they sometimes have less incentive to develop their core maturity and other social attributes.  The adversity faced by plainer women tends to force them to strengthen their social skills.

    By the way, I fully expect to be jumped by beta-hating women any time I share something about my personal past or sexual strategy.  From the off-putting title, to the comments where women fight with men…I don’t find this a safe place to invest my emotions.  I’m here because I think it’s worth my while and because I find the intellectual exercise stimulating.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ceer
      I certainly wouldn’t want you to take a risk that didn’t feel comfortable, but rest assured there will be no beta- hating remarks here. I don’t think the women here do hate beta guys – most of us are fans. In any case, if you ever feel uncomfortable please say so or shoot me an email.

      As for the name, please remember that kissing is hooking up. I don’t mean to imply that it’s all about sex, though sometimes it is.

  • lovelost

    @Susan

    now your next post on HUS should be,

    I am writing a dating book.

    Title: Hooking Up Smart

    From Dating, to Mating to LTRs, What you all wanted to ask, but couldn’t ask you Mom or Dad.

     

  • Soyuz

    Susan,

    What happens if you comment on a type of behaviour exemplified by another commenter while not mentioning them specifically?

    For example, if I say that “girls with high numbers are more likely to cheat”. Would that be considered a judgement of a person who just commented that she has high numbers?

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Soyuz
      That’s a good question. You can say that – in fact, there is some evidence that the example you gave is true, so I wouldn’t want to stifle honest, objective discussion.

      Good Comment: There is some evidence that girls with high numbers are more likely to cheat. I mean, if you consider sex a form of casual recreation rather than an emotionally intimate experience, doesn’t that mean you’d be more likely to decide to do it in future without seeing it as a threat to a relationship?

      Bad Comment: Most guys are not going to be able to live with the fact that you’ve taken in ten cocks. They may like you now, but I can guarantee no one is going to wife you up. Do you plan on lying about your number to fool a good beta into marrying you now that you’re damaged goods?

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    I understand why you put up a comment policy, but wouldn’t that hamper any discussions about how the privileged status of females in Western society makes the women behave rudely, especially to men? (Remember, men are taught to respect women, but women are taught to disrespect men.)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @CrisisEraDynamo
      I have no desire to censor honest debate. No topic is off limits. You’ll have to trust me on this. The comment policy is meant to address the tone of comments and eliminate the judgment of individuals here, especially when they’ve been so kind as to share personal information for the benefit of the group.

      Readers here know that I don’t pull any punches. I’m likely to write about female narcissism one day and mansluts the next. No topic is off-limits, and I’m not in the business of defending women as a whole. I promise to aim for fairness throughout.

  • Isabel

    Aww, crap. I’m screwed. Going off-topic is so easy… and addictive. =(

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Isabel
      LOL, everyone is worried I’m not going to let them go OT. Here’s what I mean by an unacceptable example of going OT:

      1. We’re discussing women initiating with men by giving clearer indications of interest. Someone mentions they see a woman taking the lead as a sign that she’s slutty. Someone else opines that most women these days just want to ride the alpha cock carousel. And we’re back to castigating sluts.

      2. We’re discussing how women like dominance in men. All of a sudden, a commenter is linking like crazy to articles that discuss female genital mutilation in Arab countries.

      These kinds of discussions are a drag.

      Here is an example of going OT that is totally OK:

      1. We’re discussing feisty women and someone recalls Rhett Butler’s telling Scarlett she needs to be kissed, and badly. Other people start thinking of great lines from old movies in a similar vein. The whole group gets engaged in discussing something that has nothing to do with the post.

      These kinds of discussions are delightful.

      And then there are the minor sideline discussions that I have no problem with – Anacaona and someone discussing Twilight, for example.

      I guess the point is – is everyone having a good time? If not, I’ll intervene.

  • CrisisEraDynamo

    Thanks for clarifying.

  • John G

    Good luck with the moderation. It’s a work in progress, I’m sure it will settle out.

  • Johnny Milfquest

    If you banned the following types of comment, you would cut the size of HUS comment threads dramatically.

    1. Men complaining about how many dicks women are riding these days and how this makes them unsuitable or undesirable for marriage (yawn).

    2. Women complaining that some general rule-of-thumb doesn’t apply to them personally (it totally does).

    3. Women complaining that men just want to have sex with them (shocking).

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Johnny Milfquest

      I’m going for quality, not quantity. Plus, every unpleasant person who leaves opens up opportunities for people interested in honest debate.

      And since you’ve sworn off HUS and taken up residence at Rational Male, you’ll contribute to that downsizing. Thanks!

  • Jesus Mahoney

    Jamie,

    but after skimming the thread and seeing everyone hating on Kate and attacking her looks and character, I decided to keep my thoughts to myself.

    Not everyone was critiquing Bolick personally.

  • Ramble

    [OffTopic]

    Also we are begining to hear for the first time in decades that men indeed care about looks ALOT and any straight female wanting to make it in the SMP needs to remember that.

    Is it just me, or is that just nuts? That is, that many people are beginning to hear that for the first time.

    [/OffTopic]

  • Passer_By

    @Ramble

    LOL.  I had the same reaction to that.  I think perhaps what’s happening for the first time in a long time is an open acknowledgment that this is just the way it is – it’s not because of “The Patriarchy,” social conditioning or sexism, and it’s not going away no matter how much some may try to shame men for caring about looks.

  • Passer_By

    Oh, wait, I think I’m going off topic here. :)

  • Passer_By

    @Jamie

    “I had some thoughts on Bolick’s article, but after skimming the thread and seeing everyone hating on Kate and attacking her looks”

    Not true.  Some of us were quite open about the fact that we’d hit it and come back for seconds.

  • DerHahn

    I’ve been reading here for a little while (I migrated over from Vox’s blog) and I’ve been flitting around blogosphere as a comment reader and ocassional commenter for a while.  Your blog seem to deal with relationships like another blog I read regularly (ann althouse’s) deals with politics.  Both of you post on topics that interest you, and write about them in interesting ways.  The comments do tend to get a bit messy in both places.  I understand your desire to publish some clear guidelines but I like Ann’s more minimalist approach better.  Essentially this is your space and we’re all guests here, and you have the right to throw out anybody you feel is exhibiting inappropriate behavior.

    I’ll riff on what Ann says to her commentors, and say you need just three guidelines – comments need to be safe, sane, and relevant to the topic or an interesting diversion.  You’ll probably do more good by consistently deleting troll droppings than publishing a 463 bullet point check list on what makes a good comment :) but it is nice to know what’s informing your decisions when you moderate comments.  I don’t know if anybody has mentioned it yet but disallowing anonymous comments and/or a commentor registration process also seems to do a lot to keep things civil.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @DerHahn
      Welcome, and thanks for those excellent suggestions.

  • Anacaona

    Is it just me, or is that just nuts? That is, that many people are beginning to hear that for the first time.

    It is nuts but remember that mainstream has done a good job and hiding vital information. Feminists in general are women that didn’t had good experienced with men( really Jezebel comments is like a support group about women that had been raped, cheated on, abandoned by their fathers, lesbians…you rarely find a straight woman that grew up in a two parents household with a strong relationship with their fathers commenting there, no wonder I was so attacked when trying to moderate certain comments), so the less successful they are with men the more girls for the troops me thinks, YMMV.

     

    Heh I love that I’m the official Twilight girl here. I might have to rethink my policy about explaining a bit of how and why it works to curious minds…maybe. :)

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    DerHahn

    I’ll riff on what Ann says to her commentors, and say you need just three guidelines – comments need to be safe, sane, and relevant to the topic or an interesting diversion.  You’ll probably do more good by consistently deleting troll droppings than publishing a 463 bullet point check list on what makes a good comment :)

    I like that.

    The characters limit is a good idea too.

     

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Lovelost

    now your next post on HUS should be,

    I am writing a dating book.

    Title: Hooking Up Smart

    From Dating, to Mating to LTRs, What you all wanted to ask, but couldn’t ask you Mom or Dad.

    +1

     

  • http://www.yohami.com/blog/ YOHAMI

    Susan,

    The problem with policies is that the people who need them the most, are the same people who either dont care or cant understand the policies. Its unlikely they will behave now that the policies are clear, and more likely you will have to enforce them.

    Maybe deleting troll comments and banning people will do the job. I liked the idea of having ranks and “likes” and “bury” on comments that someone else proposed. Or a combination.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Yohami
      I agree that I need to take a more active role. It won’t be black or white. I may issue a warning first, for example. Undoubtedly I’ll delete some things that other commenters think are just fine. I’ll learn as as I go, and hopefully you guys will help me navigate some of this.

  • Passer_By

    I don’t like the ranking and liking idea.  It would be just too much of a blow to my self esteem  when I don’t get any up votes.  Like that Southpark episode about Facebook – “You have zero friends”

     

  • Anonymous Lurker

    I am a lurker and I am not planning on de-lurking, but I do read most threads beginning to end.

    Most of them are fine, but do-not #2 (no judging) seems well intentions but severely misguided.  I can’t imagine a rule that would be more damaging.  It puts the whole forum at the mercy of anyone who’s “feeeeelings” get hurt.

    Why should anyone be non-judgemental?  Because you don’t want to be held accountable for your behavior?  What is that?

    The only person who isn’t judgmental is someone with no judgement.  If you want to understand why you can’t get (say) a good guy, maybe the reason is because you are a slut.  I will never understand the adversion to judgement.  People are constantly judging you, and you might as learn why.

    Sorry if that makes me sound judgmental, but I try to exercise good judgement.

    Are we to deny the truth because the truth makes someone uncomfortable?  The purpose of the forums should be to uncover the truth, things you can’t hear anywhere else.

    IMHO, people who can’t handle the truth can go back to traditional dating blogs and learn pithy cliches about how “you just haven’t met the right one yet.”

     

     

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Anonymous Lurker
      Well said, you make a strong case. I need to think about this. What I’m trying to address is the rapid hammering of the gavel on some readers who have come by for advice. This has happened to both women and men. I want to find a way for us to be constructive and offer solutions rather than just tell people how they messed up, or tell them that they’re still not taking full responsibility. Maybe they’re not – it’s a process. By coming here and sharing their story, they’ve taken some responsibility though, and they’ve given it some thought.

      I think it’s fine to judge behaviors, but not people. I want to make people feel welcome, not like we’ll tear them to shreds. Now, if a woman comes by and says “being slutty is making me miserable but I just can’t give up my alpha asshats” then fire away. But if she says, “i have made some bad calls with alpha males, i’ve been burned, and now i’m trying to figure out what to do with this nice beta boy” I don’t want everyone to shame her back onto the cock carousel and tell her the beta guy deserves better. Does that make sense?

  • Orig. Anon.

    What if the poor defenseless beta does? As I’ve said at Dalrock’s, reading your posts and your female commenters is far more depressing to me, as a 15 year married man, than anything I’ve read at Roissy’s. Do you have any sympathy for men or are you just as cold towards betas as Roissy is to women? Betas just shit out of luck in this feminist world? I’m going far off topic here, but without the “mean” comments from your male commenters I wouldn’t bother to read. I’m not your target audience, I understand…could you give us the beta’s email so we can save him?

  • OrigAnon

    That sounded more bitter than I wanted it to. Maybe I just have always understood the asshats that men can be and my white knight disappointment that women are just as human is showing.

  • Passer_By

    @Origin Anon

    “What if the poor defenseless beta does? ”

    You mean the guy who has been wishing she’d stop paying attention to asshats and start paying attention to him?

  • Isabel

    Orig. Anon,

    Eh? Roissy advocates physical and mental abuse, serial infidelity and “dread” amongst other things. And there’s not a single thread over there that doesn’t have one of his little rentboys describing women as collectively sub-human. What’s been said here that’s even close to that?

  • charlotte

    Wow, Susan — reading all the comments, I truly feel for you right now. I felt what you wrote was rational and sincere and extremely fair. Too many people seem to be using your blog as a sounding board for their own gripes and hang-ups, etc. It must be so frustrating to you. You’re doing a great job and are much appreciated. If people want to better themselves, then why are they using your blog as a soapbox instead of a learning tool. There’s so much “pity me, it’s everyone else’s fault” and no responsibility. All women hate beta? Really? All Western women are “privileged and rude” (as commenter CrisisEraDynamo said)? Come on now — Susan’s a woman and she’s writing this blog! Oh, and I’m  not letting the ladies off. There are some doozeys from them as well, I’m sure.

    The thing that would be helpful for everyone to remember is that universal, blanket-statements are not constructive. When a person hears “Remember, men are taught to respect women, but women are taught to disrespect men.”, it’s ridiculous. ALL women are taught that? ALL men are taught that? Universals (such as simply stating “men” as if what follows applies to all men) make the group that they are “against” defensive. People that are defensive say angry things. And this starts the whole vicious cycle. Instead of having this little pity-party about who has it rougher (and yes, BOTH sexes have their share of ups and downs), we’re here for a reason, aren’t we? I know that I’m here because I want to work TOGETHER to BRIDGE the gender divide, not throw stones from the “girls” side. At the end of the day, complain all we want, but nothing makes a man feel better than a good woman; and nothing makes a woman feel better than a good man. And you know what pisses off ANY gender? Someone complaining about the opposite sex. Booo-ring. Let’s all grow up, be constructive and admit that not ALL people are like “a” or like “b”. It’s every bit as silly as “all black people do x” or “all Catholics are y”. I know a good many people, but I’d be hesitant to say I know “all” people.

     

    PS; sorry CrisisEraDynamo for singling you out — you’re one of the last commentators before I started to write.

  • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

    @Orig. Anon.

    First of all, I always instruct women to be honest. Even if they can get away with lying, it will fester and come out eventually. There are men here who will testify to that. So I am assuming that the beta guy is fully aware and can make his own decision re what he wants or deserves.

    You ask if I have any sympathy for men, but I don’t think you’ll find a bigger beta fan in the blogosphere, at least of the female variety. And I’m far from alone – I believe that many of my readers seek and reward beta traits in partners, provided there is a baseline level of dominance. I know, I know that’s a lot to ask. It is what it is.

    The truth is that the “mean” comments from male commenters are indeed reminiscent of comments found at all male blogs, and some MRA blogs. In general, MRAs and college females don’t often have a lot to say to one another. If you want that viewpoint, I daresay you can get some of it here, but probably will not be happy with my take on things.

    Of course, you are most welcome here. I won’t be mean to you, please don’t be mean to me.

  • Orig. Anon.

    Listening to women get bent out of shape from Roissy is amusing to me. Nothing he advocates is any worse than what thousands of women actually do, every year, when they divorce their husbands.

    I brought Roissy up for a good reason. After reading Roissy for a few months, I made changes in how I acted towards my wife. And shockingly!, both of us are happier as a result. Unless you truly care for male betas, not just female betas, you aren’t any better than he is, you’re just on some other team. Maybe women will learn truths that will indirectly help men like my wife is benefiting from Roissy. I think you aspire to more than that.

    I do like to read the comments here if only so I can make some plans to help my son, and my daughter. I sure will not be telling either of them the self-serving platitudes my parents told me about women because they just aren’t true. My years of experience with my wife, my sisters, and my wife’s friends all tell me Roissy is far more right than wrong about how the world is. Act however you want based on that truth.

    I’ve dealt with college females, and even married one, and a 22-year-old female is likely as powerful as she is ever going to be. Power corrupts. I think male betas have been steadily getting a worse deal year by year my entire life. I plan on doing everything I can to make sure both my kids understand how and why.

    Isabel:
    “advocates physical and mental abuse…dread” LOL, be serious. I can’t tell you how much I wish Roissy was wrong. Big ol beta softy me; how much pain I caused myself.

  • Orig. Anon.

    Meant to add, I very much agree with your advocacy of honesty. But without a red-pill, your male beta is deluded about how women are. I got married to a wonderful women totally wrong about how women are. I got lucky. Many men and women aren’t and in their misunderstanding make poor choices. I’ll be telling my son their are worse things than being alone.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Orig. Anon.

      I commend you for talking straight to your kids, and that goes for all the other dads here who plan to do the same. Escoffier has said that, Mule Chewing Briars definitely is on top of it. There are more. Research shows that girls want input from their fathers, and my own daughter goes to her father for advice only occasionally, for the really big questions. (She realizes that his appetite for analyzing boy behavior is limited, and he often tells her what she doesn’t want to hear.)

      Mom also has an important role to play, both with daughters and sons. My son doesn’t often seek my advice, but when he does, I usually encourage him to take a harder line with his gf, and to be more dominant. Unfortunately, I didn’t swallow the red pill myself until he was in college, but he has learned quickly.

  • Orig.Anon.

    “Provided there is a baseline level of dominance.” You get this, but the definition of male beta, to me, is to Not Get this. Men don’t do this to other men to avoid fist fights, so the golden rule, and general societal equality, tell men Not to treat women that way. I only got away with trying my best not to be dominant with my wife because I did such a poor job of it. Oh and I make way more than she does and have more degrees, etc. If we’d been the equalist magic couple people imagine for themselves maybe I’d be divorced. Maybe I’d have figured it out faster due to necessity. Who can know.

    End of off topic and I wouldn’t be bothering to post here if I didn’t think your heart is in the right place. Thanks for your indulgence.

  • Isabel

    Orig. Anon,

    All very well but you haven’t actually answered my question. Sidestepping it by saying “oh but so-and-so does this!” is weak and dishonest.

    Anyway. You’ve pretty much outed yourself as clueless because most openly and repeatedly admit they like betas here – myself included. The ones that don’t get flung around like ragdolls by the male commenters.

  • Orig. Anon.

    Isabel:

    I laughed at your description of Roissy because I don’t think it’s fair. I countered with an argument that, being the cad that Roissy advocates is no worse than what thousands of women, that you aren’t complaining about, are.

    I believe you like beta qualities. You value commitment, loyalty, kindness, etc. But beta is not sexually attractive in a man. I think you only like betas because that’s the best you can do (like no man would pick his wife at 35 over his wife at 25). I think you want an alpha who commits to you alone. I don’t believe any woman actually wants a beta unless they the minority who wants to be the dominant party in the relationship; everyone else settles. That’s what I honestly believe and haven’t been trying to sidestep anything. I think many men make themselves into betas foolishly believing what women say.

    Again, the Roissy hate honestly makes me chuckle. I think you’d consider me a stand up guy if you knew how I live my life, so the Roissy demon hasn’t taken over and made me do those horrible things you assert Roissy represents.

    Since women make “mistakes” with alphas before they magically find betas attractive, I know what they find attractive. Alphas. That’s the red pill; watch what women do not what they say. Women are well served doing the same with men.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Since women make “mistakes” with alphas before they magically find betas attractive, I know what they find attractive. Alphas.

      Not really. Alphas present. Betas not as often. Women usually select from among the men who pursue. In a workplace or via mutual friends, there is less pressure for the guy to approach, and betas can do quite well.

      the Roissy demon hasn’t taken over and made me do those horrible things you assert Roissy represents.

      I had trouble with this as well. I couldn’t understand how good guys could read Roissy and Roosh and remain good guys. Ultimately, I came to understand that a lot of men read them for their insight but do not try to emulate their moves. It’s not like Athol, who is providing an actual roadmap.

      I don’t think men understand how alarming and repugnant some of Roissy’s writing is to women – I’m talking about the old, real Roissy here. Heartiste is a pussycat by comparison. I have always been amazed that women hang out and comment there.

  • Dogsquat

    Charlotte said:

    “The thing that would be helpful for everyone to remember is that universal, blanket-statements are not constructive.”

    Is this statement exempt or something?

  • http://www.triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    I’m still against the votes button, for what it’s worth. As I said the last time it came up, people will feel more judged about opening up & sharing experiences, & lurkers who otherwise would eventually speak up & add their take on things will simply find an opinion closest to their own, click the thumbs up button & feel they’ve done their bit.

    I do think banning repeat offenders that are derailing threads for their own agenda is a good stance to take though. There’s a lot of people’s voices to get to here, it’s annoying when they’re cluttered by off-topic rants.

  • DerHahn

    @Susan – Count me as one of the guys reading Roissy/Heartiste but not trying to emulate them.   I haven’t read any of the PUA books either.  I usually only pick posts that catch my eye from Vox’s sidebar.

    I’m single guy but older than your target audience.  I’ve been through a marriage and a long term cohabiation, and a couple of pretty disasterous short term relationships recently.  I’m kinda slowly working back into the dating/relationship world (I took a very concious voluntary break for about six months) but I knew before I tried again that I needed to make some changes.  I’ve been riffing off some of the PUA themes especially in places where I can see now that I was making major mistakes.  Once I got involved with a woman I pretty rapidly adopted a passive orbiter relationship with her.  I was never really sure why both of us would often get frustrated in the relationship but that was often the reason, and it seems to run counter to the usual advice that all of us got about how to salvage a relationship. 

    About five months ago I developed a FWB relationship with a lady I dated briefly over a decade ago.  It’s sort of been a relationship with training wheels for me :) since we’re not starting from scratch, and while I’d like to the relationship to progress to ‘girlfriend’ the FWB stage takes some of the pressure off.  So far things have been going pretty well though not perfect.  I’ve really been trying to trying to break some of my old relationship habits.  Reading up here, Vox and even Heartiste help me keep focused on the big things I want to do differently .. step into her world but don’t orbit, maintain my own space and agenda but invite her to share it, ask her for what I want, take initatives.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @DerHahn
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I used to rant and rave about Roissy and Roosh but I officially moved my position to neutral a while ago. I don’t ever recommend that women read them, but if they are helping beta guys get better relationships, I can’t withhold support. I do hate to see any guy go over to the Dark Side, but I don’t think most do, and all I can do is make women aware of cad behaviors and why they’re red flags.

  • deti

    RE  Orig. Anon at 83 and Susan at 86:

    I think it’s more accurate to say women are attracted to men with alpha traits.  They are attracted to alphas with alpha traits and betas with alpha traits.   

    Women find traits like confidence, dominance and charisma attractive, i.e. it tingles them.  Women find beta traits like kindness, loyalty, fidelity and steadfastness desirable.  They want a man with those characteristics but don’t find them attractive. 

    Susan’s right in that alphas present and pursue and that’s why they tend to get the girls.  But Orig Anon’s right in that many women (not all, but many) make their mistakes with and have their fun with alphas, then settle for betas for whatever reason. 

    The issue for men is finding balance.  Frequently all a beta has to do is turn down his beta and turn up alpha to bump up his attractiveness.  For me, that’s involved simply walking away when I don’t get what I want; ignoring fitness tests; refusing to supplicate, talking less, and saying “I love you” less.   

    The issue for women is recognizing that all alpha all the time will probably get them cheated on.  But all beta all the time will land them in divorce court because they’re “not haaaaaappy.”    Again, balance.

    Say whatever you want about Roissy/Heartiste:   It’s relationship gold.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Deti
      Now that’s the deti we know and love. Great comment there about finding balance. And you’re so right about traits and attraction cues.

  • deti

    Most men don’t have the stones, the time, the money or the horsepower to go full on cad.

  • DerHahn

    @deti .. definitely agree.  My base personality is more introspective and a bit shy.  Definitely beta/gamma material especially when given all the wrong advice and misconceptions I had so I’m trying to balance it.

  • deti

    DerHahn:  

    Best advice I can offer you is turn up the alpha.  Walk away if something’s not working out.  Don’t apologize for pursuing what you want.  If she says no, step back and pursue other options.  We betas say “I’m sorry” way too much, and when we don’t need to.

    I feel like a broken record saying this, but i really believe There Will Always Be Another Woman.   If one leaves or doesn’t work out, another one always somehow appears or otherwise walks into your field of vision.   Say you approach five women.  None work out.  OK, another five.  None of them work.  Then try another five.  Law of averages says at least one of them will find something in you.  THere is no such thing as a soulmate.

    Looking back several years it pains me to think about all the missed signals from all the girls who were sending them out.

  • Jesus Mahoney

    deti,

    Most men don’t have the stones, the time, the money or the horsepower to go full on cad.

    There are also those of us who simply don’t want that for our lives,

  • deti

    Jesus M:

    agreed.  Count me in.

  • charlotte
    Dogsquat November 4, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Charlotte said:

    “The thing that would be helpful for everyone to remember is that universal, blanket-statements are not constructive.”

    Is this statement exempt or something?

     

    What do you mean? Explain your intention further, please.

  • charlotte

    BTW: a little OT, but why does Roissey take his name from the Story of O? Does anyone know?

  • Esau

    charlotte November 4, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Dogsquat November 4, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Charlotte said:

    “The thing that would be helpful for everyone to remember is that universal, blanket-statements are not constructive.”

    Is this statement exempt or something?

    What do you mean? Explain your intention further, please.

    Just taking a wild guess here, but I think what His Squatness means, is that the statement “universal, blanket-statements are not constructive” is, itself, a universal blanket-statement, and so must not be constructive!  Sort of like saying “I am categorically against saying anything categorically,” it’s kind of self-contradictory.

    Your rhetoric could be tighter, to show better what you really mean.

  • charlotte
    Esau November 4, 2011 at 10:53 am

    charlotte November 4, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Dogsquat November 4, 2011 at 4:57 am

    Charlotte said:

    “The thing that would be helpful for everyone to remember is that universal, blanket-statements are not constructive.”

    Is this statement exempt or something?

    What do you mean? Explain your intention further, please.

    Just taking a wild guess here, but I think what His Squatness means, is that the statement “universal, blanket-statements are not constructive” is, itself, a universal blanket-statement, and so must not be constructive!  Sort of like saying “I am categorically against saying anything categorically,” it’s kind of self-contradictory.

    Your rhetoric could be tighter, to show better what you really mean.

     

    (since there’s a lot of tonality missing in written — as opposed to spoken — I’m going to state how my voice should sound in your head: exasperated shoulders drooped, but with a chuckle and head shake. Dont think that my tone is “angry with finger jabbing you in the chest”) Seriously, dudes? C’mon — are you trying to tell me that you have no idea what my intention in my original comment was? I’m assuming that you guys are pretty sharp and understand the huge communicative gray area between “Western women are privileged and rude” and “…universal, blanket-statements are not constructive”, esp in the context of Susan’s blog post about how (I’m paraphrasing) the comments are getting out-of-hand and disrespectful. Can’t we balance a shorthand way of talking with that of a pretty “ignorant” (I say that in the strict, Webster definition of “ignorant”) comment? Shall I spell it out? I’m banking on your intelligence so I don’t have to (and thereby break another rule of keeping comments succinct). But if you need me to, let me know.

    But I’ll leave you with this: wouldn’t you be put-off if I said something like “men are just   rude and  would rather always start  fights than use their brain.” That’s not nice. I wouldn’t be surprised if a bunch of guys — rightfully so — jumped down my throat for this. It’s just wrong and indefensible.

  • http://www.triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    Most men don’t have the stones, the time, the money or the horsepower to go full on cad.

    There are also those of us who simply don’t want that for our lives,

    agreed.  Count me in.

    Yep, me too. Although the original statement probably still applies, too.

     

     

  • Dogsquat

    Oh, Charlotte….simmer down.

    You didn’t crack a smile at all?  Really?

  • charlotte

    Yo Dogsquat, simmer down yerself: I don’t know you — I don’t know your record on here. If you’re trying to poke a joke, cool. I relied on Esau’s summation (“Your rhetoric could be tighter, to show better what you really mean.”).

    Maybe a pic can better describe how I’m feelin’ now :-)

  • charlotte

    (crap, sorry — the pic didn’t attach. Let’s try again…)

  • Dogsquat

    I don’t simmer, babydoll….

    I’M ONNN  FFIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRREEEEE!!!!!!!one1111!!1!!ELEVEN!!!!111!!

  • charlotte

    Dogsquat,

    I believe that fire you speak of is venereal in nature…

    I see your Game Neg and raise you 1 ;-P

  • Dogsquat

    Charlotte said:

    I see your Game Neg and raise you 1 ;-P

    Fucking inflation. Screws everything up.

  • Ceer

    @Susan

    …Roissy and Roosh but I officially moved my position to neutral a while ago. I don’t ever recommend that women read them, but if they are helping beta guys get better relationships, I can’t withhold support. I do hate to see any guy go over to the Dark Side…

    You may prefer to switch your advice links to Krauser.  He has recently gone full light-side…including articles about the specific advantages.  Personally, I’ll go for Roosh and a little bit for Heartiste for tactical advice, but my personal sexual strategy would lean more towards Athol Kay or Dalrock.  My position on all of them is positive, but with the qualification that you really should develop some solid inner game before reading the full Roissy archives.

    A note about inner game.  In my own way, I’ve had it for a long time, even before I knew about game.  It just hasn’t really helped me in my interactions.  The current course of my game study is the specific nuts and bolts of why that is.

  • Jasper

    Hi there! I believe that commenters should be responsible enough in choosing their words when commenting. Sometimes they tend to be more personal than being substantial with their comments. They should be focus on the topic or post and on the writer/author. This rules of engagement you have posted must be practice by many.