Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

“Looking for Love in One of the World’s Tiniest Religions” [via The Atlantic]

“Don’t Call them Mr. Mom: More Dads at home with kids because they want to be” [via Washington Post]

“Check your ‘cat-lady’ preconceptions about childless women” [via CNN]

“Amazon is killing my sex life: The tech boom in Seattle is bringing in droves of successful, straight single guys — all of them insufferable” [via Salon]

I’d be interested to hear how you think comments on DW affect the site. The comments are moderated, and in the beginning, I blocked dozens and dozens of commenters, many of whom followed me over from the TF, who I felt didn’t help foster the kind of community I envisioned for the site. I still continue to ban commenters from time to time, but it’s much rarer now. These days, I think the DW commenters reflect one of the smartest, most articulate, thoughtful web communities I’ve seen. Would you agree? “How Comments Shape Perceptions of Sites’ Quality—and Affect Traffic:
Even if you don’t realize it, unmoderated comments change the way you think about what you read.”
[via The Atlantic]

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

120 comments… add one
  • avatar

    bethany June 6, 2014, 1:08 pm

    Here’s a link the the comments article, since it doesn’t seem to be working above:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/06/internet-comments-and-perceptions-of-quality/371862/

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 1:10 pm

      I agree with Wendy’s thoughts on the DW comments, except bethany’s comment of course.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 1:11 pm

        Seriously though, that tweet picture on the link – I’ve reconsidered my position on so many things because of DW and I think a lot of DWers would say the same. Maybe DW commenters are the elusive unicorns.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 1:26 pm

        Yep, I’ve definitely changed my mind about issues after reading the comments here.

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      • avatar

        gigi June 6, 2014, 1:50 pm

        I think they key is respect. When its a community of people that “know” each other, they tend to be more considerate, kind & respectful of each other. And even those of those that don’t comment all the time read the comments & feel like we know all you you lovely ladies ( guys too). When you are on a gigantic website, you can hide behind anonymity & respect goes out the window. If you are in a pissy mood & someone’s comment rubs you the wrong way, well then just fire up that keyboard & take out your frustrations on them. I personally find a lot of comment sections to be very off-topic & unhelpful, promoting someone’s own person agenda, or cruel & taunting. I mostly do not read comments anywhere else.

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      • gigi

        gigi June 6, 2014, 2:03 pm

        So now you all know I can’t do math either….:( Why must I do math to comment on a Friday afternoon when I am braindead?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 2:08 pm

        I failed 8 * 6 yesterday if it makes you feel better.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 1:13 pm

        Fuck off. You’re such a troll.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 1:15 pm

        Jk 🙂

        I think the DW comment section is very, VERY different than other comment sections. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with Wendy’s involvement with it (blocking trolls, and such). I also have found the comments to be really useful here. We tend to not always agree, but other than just name calling (for the most part), we urge eachother to fully explain our points, thoughts and reasoning. Sometimes I have to really stop and think “Is this what I really mean, and why?” before I reply to someone, and I think that’s super useful. I know for a fact that I have grown and learned from the comments here.

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      • Lady_Red

        Red_Lady June 6, 2014, 8:48 pm

        ” I also have found the comments to be really useful here.”
        I think this is key. The comments of some sites are just filled with put-downs and poorly thought out arguments. But everyone here comes off as intelligent, rational beings. It’s a great community here, and even though I don’t comment much, I do enjoy reading everything. I’ve definitely learned a lot too – all of the different viewpoints really help me to see different sides of various issues.

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    • avatar

      ktfran June 6, 2014, 2:30 pm

      I can honestly say that this is the only site I feel comfortable commenting on. I do like the community Wendy has created.

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2014, 2:34 pm

        do you guys comment on other sites?? i dont!! you cheating cheaters!!

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 2:39 pm

        Nope.

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 6, 2014, 2:40 pm

        I read comments at other sites. Then I think, why am I bothering? These people suck a big one.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass June 6, 2014, 2:45 pm

        Ugh yes. I often find myself reading comments on other sites and then asking myself why I am torturing myself. DW is so awesome because of how Wendy moderates the comments- she doesn’t censor people because they disagree with her but she doesn’t keep the people who are cray-cray. NSP and crazy Rachel anyone?

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 6, 2014, 2:49 pm

        Wasn’t there some dude named Jon that was pretty awful? Or am I making that up? Yikes, he’s probably reading right now. Crap.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ June 6, 2014, 2:52 pm

        Crazy Rachel?

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 3:04 pm

        Fake Rachel!

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ June 6, 2014, 3:06 pm

        Oh, yeah! I forgot that one.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC June 6, 2014, 2:49 pm

        Confession time: I am a prolific Gawker commenter and have been for years (I use a different name there). I also comment on Ask A Manager (as Lily in NYC). And that’s about it.

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      • avatar

        Simonthegrey June 8, 2014, 12:27 am

        Two of my websites collided. I read a lot of AAM, but I don’t comment tons there. Same name.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ June 6, 2014, 2:51 pm

        No. I barely even read them and when I do, I’m almost always sorry.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 1:17 pm

    Let’s be real – raising kids can be such a pain in the ass (not even gonna put qualifiers in). Its shocking to me how many women choose to have them. I would really think that more would NOT want them. With that said, I still find myself curious about why women I know haven’t had them, which is so dumb. They haven’t because they 1. don’t want em or 2. can’t have em. So why do we keep asking that question?

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 1:32 pm

      I’m not offended that people are constantly asking me when Llama Guy and I are going to have kids (although it can get a little annoying), I just find it odd that people are so shocked when I tell them we’re not ever making babies. Like, why is that so surprising? I don’t even mind if they ask why we’re not having kids – it’s an interesting discussion and I enjoy hearing why people do want kids. I just don’t get why it’s such a big deal when people say they don’t want kids.
      .
      P.S. – I promise people aren’t surprised because my answer involves me screaming “KIDS ARE THE WORST AND I HATE THEM ALL.” All I say is “we don’t plan on having kids” and people’s eyes get big. I actually love kids, I just don’t want any of my own.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 1:36 pm

        I’m sure its just because the “normal” is having kids and the white picket fence and all. Even having a kid, I am constantly asked why I’m not having another, and even when I give what I think are really logical reasons (especially “I’m so far out of mothering a baby, that I don’t think I really want to start over”), people still don’t get it. The questions have never bothered me either. I’d probably be surprised or at least a little selfishly sad if one of my sisters said she didn’t plan on having kids. Being around other people’s kids is great! You get to fawn over cute babies and leave the hard stuff to the parents. Maybe that’s it? They just want to play with a baby they don’t have to care for?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 1:40 pm

        To keep rambling…I guess especially for a mom, its maybe sad to imagine someone you know not getting to experience parenting, because it is really cool having a kid usually, and experiencing that certain love (sorry, gag) that you don’t really get with anyone else. But then, say you are a huge traveler, which I’m not, you might be sad that I will never get to experience the rush that comes from seeing new places, but I’m still fine with not experiencing it.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 1:48 pm

        I totally understand that and sometimes I am a little sad about the awesome mommy experiences I’m never going to have (I’ve been a nanny and spent a lot of time around kids so I know what I’m missing). My oldest and dearest friend has a 2.5 year old who I love to death, and I get little twinges when I see how much he loves her. But I’d still much rather be an auntie than a mom!

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass June 6, 2014, 2:49 pm

        Mr. Grass feels that way now that he’s a dad, before he totally got why people don’t want kids. “But, but, kids are the best thing ever!” I have to remind him that not everyone wants our lifestyle and that is a-okay. Personally I think he just loves his family so much that he can’t imagine not wanting it so he can’t put himself in other peoples shoes. But he should still try!

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 1:36 pm

        A lady in the comments had a good reply when people asked her if she didn’t like kids. She said “I like elephants, but that doesn’t mean I want one!”

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh June 6, 2014, 1:42 pm

        Yeah the number one assumption after you say we’re not planning on having children is, so you must hate them. Or I’ve had people say sorry you have to deal with mine. It only annoys me to get that question when people can’t understand that me not having kids is not about them or their choices!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 2:03 pm

        I’ve never assumed people hated kids, more like they just weren’t “kid people” or like their freedom. I guess I get why kid people would think its weird that other people aren’t, even if its dumb. I love dogs, but not so much cats and I bet you guys would be all “how can you not love cats?!??!”

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh June 6, 2014, 2:08 pm

        sorry i should have added the number one assumption i’ve received. not like the number one assumption of all people!

        i guess i don’t get why it’s weird. because, i definitely understand why someone might not like pets. or why someone might hate living in the city or the country. or even why someone might not like cheese (not really, but i get the rest).

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 2:17 pm

        jly, what are you saying? People are different?!?! 🙂

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 2:09 pm

        Nah. I have two cats and completely understand how you could not love them. My cats are total jerks.

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      • avatar

        AlwaysALurker June 6, 2014, 2:13 pm

        Actually, and very sadly, I’ve seen a lot more people with kids that don’t like kids, or actively hate them, than the other way around. I think it takes a lot of introspection to choose not to have kids and go against the grain, since we are literally bombarded with the message that we all should want them (babieees OMG!!!) and that something is wrong if you don’t. So, a lot of people end up having kids and pretend to like it but secretly wish they hadn’t.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 2:16 pm

        whatAALsaid!

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Excellent point! Maybe you could downgrade to SometimesALurker and comment more?

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      • avatar

        AlwaysALurker June 6, 2014, 2:21 pm

        Thanks! I’m setting thresholds for myself to change it gradually so I’m not lulled into a false sense of security in my commenting activity. It’ll be SometimesALurker, LurkOnOccasion, RarelyALurker, then we’ll see…

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      • avatar

        ktfran June 6, 2014, 2:46 pm

        Oh my gosh, I love this comment.
        *
        Actually, I adore kids. I’m the first person to want to hold a baby, or play with the toddler, when I’m somewhere with kids. I also know that I would make a pretty damn good mom. With that being said, I haven’t been bit by mom bug yet. I’m perfectly ok not having children. I think, for me, I just haven’t met the right person I wanted to take the plunge with yet and knowing that the older I get, the less likely it will happen. I refuse to rush it just to have children.

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2014, 4:57 pm

        i totally have this issue too. i told you guys about the “that baby looks good on you” comment at the wedding right? because that happened. because i was excited about holding the baby. le sigh.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery June 9, 2014, 1:07 pm

        I am like this with dogs (and I would be with cats, if people brought their cats out in public). I make faces at people’s dogs until the dog smiles back, and if allowed, I will pet every dog.

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    • avatar

      bethany June 6, 2014, 1:41 pm

      I’m ok with the question “Do you want kids?”, I’m maybe even ok with asking why or why not. What I’m not ok with is the judging, and the pushing of what others think is best onto me. Even though I *do* want to have children in the near future, I still find myself identifying as a “No kids” person, because other than you guys and my close friends, people don’t know that we do want to have a family. So I still get the pressure from my MIL, and my extended family, and it’s fucking annoying. Like just shut the fuck up about it already, seriously.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 2:15 pm

        Oh, I just remembered the most awkward conversation I had with a hair stylist a few months ago. I made the mistake of mentioning that I’m engaged and she wanted to hear all about our wedding plans (I totally disappointed her when I said it was just a little backyard, family only thing), then asked when we were going to have kids. I told her we weren’t planning on having any and she said, “oh, but what happens if you accidentally get pregnant?” That, along with the hair dresser who asked me if I’d rather be blind or bald (WHILE HOLDING SCISSORS, obviously), is why I don’t like making small talk when I’m getting my hair cut.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass June 6, 2014, 2:57 pm

        You need to find a new salon. I picture that place with a crappy, slapped on ‘hair salon’ sign covering an ‘Insane asylum’ sign.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas June 6, 2014, 3:02 pm

        Ha! The two incidents were at two different salons in two different states, years apart. I just have bad luck with hair dressers. I think I give off a desperate “please don’t make me do small talk” vibe that instantly makes them want to go to a weird place.

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      • Miss MJ

        Miss MJ June 6, 2014, 3:04 pm

        I hardly ever talk at the hair salon, and I’ve been going to the same place for years. I either bring work or read a magazine and after the general small talk and whatnot at the beginning, I turn to it. Is that rude?

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    • katie

      katie June 6, 2014, 1:50 pm

      i think its interesting to talk about that kind of stuff.. like all of it though. kids or no kids, marriage or no marriage, city or country, gmos or no gmos, ect. like to me its just another thing to talk about with people. and i never care about people asking- but i really do care when people act like ive just killed a puppy when i tell them “probably no kids ever”.

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    • avatar

      MsMisery June 9, 2014, 1:06 pm

      I think a lot of it is still social pressure. Do people (“people” in general) even give much thought to kids or do they just *have* them? Like checking it off the list? I know I am still surprised to find out when someone announces they are pregnant. I’m like “Why would you do that?!? You can still fix it!!!” But then I have to remember that I am biased and not the norm.

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  • othy

    othy June 6, 2014, 1:17 pm

    “These days, I think the DW commenters reflect one of the smartest, most articulate, thoughtful web communities I’ve seen.” – Definitely agree. It’s the main reason I keep coming back.

    So, on a related note, have you guys ever read the Huffington Post comments? Those things are downright painful. And my very conservative father is one of them. His ‘hobby” is commenting on stories he disagrees with, to try and make his side known. He once bragged to me that he ‘got someone on the internet to admit he was right’. I made the mistake once of looking at a few of his posts, and I thought less of him afterwards. I have to pretend that that side of him doesn’t exist – the conservative, ass-hatted, internet troll.

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  • avatar

    bethany June 6, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Am I the only one who’s never heard of the Druze religion? I wish the article would have explained a little more about it, and why they can’t marry into it or convert or why both parents have to be Druze in order to have Druze children.

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    • avatar

      bethany June 6, 2014, 1:56 pm

      And from Wikipedia I just learned that Casey Kasem is Druze!

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 3:06 pm

        And apparently George Clooney’s new fiance is Druze!

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      • avatar

        AlwaysALurker June 6, 2014, 2:30 pm

        It is a very fascinating religion but to be honest marriage in Lebanon, where most Druze are, is a very difficult business. I work on and have been to Lebanon many times and have heard many women (educated, liberal, and fully functioning working adults) say that they would marry someone outside of their confessional group ). That leaves some with a very shallow pool to select from.

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    • avatar

      sarita_f June 6, 2014, 3:16 pm

      Yeah, it’s a really interesting religion, mostly because there is no real information about it. I have a friend from college who’s Druze and he himself doesn’t know much about the religion. I think they have to wait until they’re a certain age or reach a certain level of seriousness or something along those lines before they’re even told what the religion is all about. Kinda crazy to me, to profess to believe in a religion and yet you don’t even know what that religion actually believes? It’s super secretive.

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 3:26 pm

        Yeah, from what I quickly read it seemed like only certain people were allowed to read their religious texts, which seemed odd to me. But whatever, I’m not religious at all, so what do I know?

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  • avatar

    stickelet June 6, 2014, 2:01 pm

    I read everyday and I like the community that has been built here. I don’t really comment though because it can be overwhelming to keep up, and there are so many regulars that it’s hard to infiltrate. I think the majority of comments are constructive and offer compassion and good advice, but I have seen a number of occasions when commenters (regulars and non regulars) are condescending and unable to see past their own point of view on a letter or discussion. However, I know DW has a great community and that the vast majority of commenters and comments are supportive and caring. Just my two cents.

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    • katie

      katie June 6, 2014, 2:04 pm

      oh it is so *not* hard to infiltrate. promise. tell one ex-lovah story, one sex story, pick white or red wine, and then your in. easy peasy.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass June 6, 2014, 3:00 pm

        Pick white and you’re in.

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      • avatar

        Ella_ June 6, 2014, 3:05 pm

        If it is wine, I pick white, but I pick champagne over everything!

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 3:07 pm

        Too bad you didn’t pick Prosecco, or you’d be Wendy’s favorite!

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      • avatar

        Ella_ June 6, 2014, 3:20 pm

        Hey I like prosecco and cava too! I am non-discriminating. Sparkling rosé is fine too!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:28 pm

        Bu do you like OJ in your champagne?

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2014, 3:12 pm

        ohhhhh a bubbles girl. i like you! you gotta try this one kind of cava- casteller. it has an orange label with a chess piece on it. its my cousins favorite (she is also a bubbles girl) and we have it pretty much everytime i see her.

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      • avatar

        Ella_ June 6, 2014, 3:18 pm

        I will look for it! I had Dom at my sister’s wedding but can’t quite afford to but that on the regular.

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      • avatar

        Ella_ June 6, 2014, 3:21 pm

        Buy* that. Stupid typo!

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      • avatar

        stickelet June 6, 2014, 3:11 pm

        My two most recent ex’s were kind of jerks, but the ones before them were good. I’ve been single for a million years though. I live vicariously through the dating thread in the forums. I don’t have any funny sex stories, probably because it’s also been a million years since I’ve had sex too. Although hopefully that will be changing soon as I am about to hit on a boy today. (He lives at the apartments where I work at the leasing office and we’ve expressed some mutual interest but haven’t done anything about it). And I have to go with red wine. I’m not a fan of champagne or moscato either. Too bubbly and sweet.

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2014, 3:14 pm

        and your in! see? easy. and you will also be APs favorite with your wine choice.
        .
        keep us updated on apartment where i work boy!

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      • avatar

        stickelet June 6, 2014, 3:25 pm

        I will! I’ll post in the dating thread. My coworker and I call him FH, as in Future Husband, which is clearly ridiculous but amazing at the same time.

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    • avatar

      Ella_ June 6, 2014, 2:17 pm

      I feel like that too, Stickelet! I’ve been commenting more but you just still sometimes wonder if people read them or remember or anything. But I know that’s dumb since I always read all the comments!

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass June 6, 2014, 3:00 pm

        Fwiw I remember both of you.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 6, 2014, 5:33 pm

        Right? I remember them both too! I love when lurkers comments & they’re like… “HI I NEVER COMMENT HI” but I’m like, “dude, I know you & remember at least one thing about your life/one post that you made the last time you said you were de-lurking 😉 “

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny June 6, 2014, 2:19 pm

    Holy Moly. The “Amazon is killing my sex life” article makes me cringe. Because I grew up in/live in the SF Bay Area and it is SO SO true. I even work in the tech mecca of Palo Alto (but I don’t work in tech) and I can definitely attest that everything in the article is true. I feel like, in the last 12 years (since I started college!) things have gotten very homogeneous. The bars I went to when I was 21 are now full of dudes in hoodies. And the dating scene is very much as described in the article. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great the economy is doing so well, but with it comes higher cost of living, and so many dudes who are exactly like described in the article.
    .
    I had a conversation with a guy in the grocery store, and it basically went like this: We chatted about strawberries. He asked me how my day was and I replied and asked him in kind; he said he’d spent the day in Santa Cruz at the beach for a “work meeting”; I said oh, cool, so what do you do? He says, oh I work on tech, like everybody else around here; then he asks me what I do and I tell him I work in architecture; he replies surprised that there was much need for that, and are all of our projects in China? In the end he whipped out his phone and totally ignored me, conversation over. Pretty odd.
    .
    (Sorry, I could go on but I’m hopping off my soap box now.)

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny June 6, 2014, 2:21 pm

      And also- I realize not every guy is like this. There are a lot of stereotypes thrown around that aren’t necessarily true, and it’s unfair to paint in broad strokes. But, they definitely are out there.

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  • avatar

    Breezy AM June 6, 2014, 2:27 pm

    I loved the Amazon article. I went further than her tho; I won’t even work with them or socialize with them if I can avoid it because IME they know everything about everything and are impossible to deal with and won’t concede they don’t have all the fucking answers ever. Blyearghk. OBVIOUSLY not all of them are like that, (um, in fact I count two “tech guys” as BFFs?) but enough were that I’m just not going to bother wasting my time getting to know any new ones unless they come pre-vetted.

    As for comments… What I really like about here is that a) when people chew you out, they’re not assholes about it. Yeah, they might be POINTED but they’re not MEAN. There’s a huge ass difference. Also, When I’ve been the subject of having my ass handed to me? I never felt shy to say “okay y’all need to step off a bit because I got this aspect handled and I am a big girl.” I never felt like it would turn into some big huge never ending thread of me explaining why I got my shit handled in one area (although OBVIOUSLY not in others) with people being rude and personal and insulting.
    ..

    I also really like that when it gets to a point where it’s like “okay people, we had this thread, cool, I’m not where you are about it, I’ll hit y’all back later” we can pop over to ANOTHER thread and talk and get along just fine and no one drags it over there. And, if later we come back about something else, people are like “oh hey nice to hear” and don’t continue to treat you like Quasimodo for all time.

    It’s like, being with real people. I like that. I don’t mind people being all “Breezy! what the actual fuck?!” I mind people not listening to replies, not giving me a breather to talk about something else (for the love of christ omg let me PLEASE talk about something else!) and dragging one issue to every other issue and not letting me be anything other than a Hot Mess.

    There’s a couple of women here in particular I can think of who, in any other community, would never, ever, ever have found themselves and their voices the way they did without the kind of kindness I’ve outlined above. If you’re telling someone OMG YOUR HUSBAND IS A RAT BASTARD RAPIST DUMP HIM constantly, her role becomes to defend him and her choice to be with him at all let alone stay. If in every thread about… I don’t know, how to cook kale, someone brings up “wtf would you know, your husband is a drug addict!” um, they don’t stay around long enough to learn they actually are the HBIC when it comes to kale cooking. And um, using that as a piece to rebuild themselves.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ June 6, 2014, 2:54 pm

      That’s a really great point about DW being a place where you can disagree in one thread and still converse in another. It is more like conversing with and relating to people in real life, as opposed to just commenting anonymously on the internet. Sometimes, I forget that this is a totally public forum!

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    • lemongrass

      lemongrass June 6, 2014, 3:04 pm

      Who does know how to cook kale?

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      • avatar

        bethany June 6, 2014, 3:10 pm

        GG, duh!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:28 pm

        Copper pot’s husband?

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl June 11, 2014, 2:21 pm

        Ah, I just saw this. I do know how to cook kale!

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  • gigi

    gigi June 6, 2014, 1:59 pm

    SO I didn’t really care for the article on dating in Seattle. I thought that the author stereo-typed & looked down on all men in tech. She sounded really bitchy. I am sure she has run into those guys, but you can find immature, self-absorbed, entitled jerks anywhere, in any occupation. Chalk it up to a bad date & move on instead of branding all men in Seattle & SF as boring. Geeez.

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    • Kicia

      Kicia June 6, 2014, 2:29 pm

      I agree. I started rolling my eyes when the author started labeling all tech guys as undateable.

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    • Ella

      Ella June 6, 2014, 2:33 pm

      I completely agree with you. I’m a woman in tech, so I might be extra sensitive about it, but the way she stereotyped programmers as one-track minded people lacking social skills really bothered me. It’s perpetuated way too much – both myself and friends of mine have heard things like, “but you’re too cute to be a programmer” too often. There’s been an issue in the industry recently with the rise of the term “brogrammer”, and while there are some who embrace the term too much, it’s definitely not all. Very, very few of the people I work with fit the stereotype.

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      AllegroFox June 6, 2014, 7:14 pm

      Urgh, I didn’t even read it properly because I knew it was going to annoy me. My BF is a programmer and and our social circle is pretty much all people we know through his work, and they are for real the nicest, most interesting, most generous people I know. Like, we moved in the middle of winter this year when the weather was the absolute worst, and we had people bringing us bags of road salt because there was a shortage, and offering to drive us to costco, and helping unpack, and helping us party two weeks later when it was done 😛 A few of them we see at least once a week for dinner and games, and I always look forward to it because they’re so much fun to be around.

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  • Diablo

    Diablo June 6, 2014, 3:34 pm

    DW has always been a predominantly female space, which is fine. Naturally, it also has a predominantly feminist viewpoint. However, along with that, there is a tendency toward reductive anti-male sentiment and stereotypes which definitely has had an impact on the few male voices that remain. I find that as long as I say things that I think are bound to be popular with the readers, or say sweet things about my wife, I’m gold. But when i raise ideas or issues that do not comfortably fit the paradigm, there is a tendency to pile on. I don’t think i act like a troll, and I am usually fairly clear between what is meant to be jokey, versus real views. But i came to a point last week where i was pretty sure I wouldn’t be commenting anymore. I had raised a real issue (to me at least) and was treated like a troll and reduced to a stereotype by a bunch of regulars who i thought should know me well enough to know I’m not an idiot and don’t have a simplistic view of gender dynamics. I actually thought a long while before deciding to make this comment, cuz, you know, “cut all contact, block on all media.” But the truth is that DW has come to be one of my networks, and I guess I am not ready to say “enough.” Unlike another occasion i hope only a few will remember, i am not simpering for validation here. I acknowledge my ego is fragile and I am easily hurt. Because DW is “real” to me, I can be hurt, which i couldn’t if IDGAF.

    In general, i agree with the tenor of the responses. DW is different from other forums, and it is generally a respectful space full of awesome people, many of whom i wish i could know in real life. Generally speaking, I am not intimidated by anyone in an argument. My usual rule is, if I’m arguing, it’s because i respect you enough to bother. But it bothers me when i find myself pandering to the audience because I don’t want to get flamed, because i want you to like me. That’s dishonest, and it has become an issue for me here.

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      lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:38 pm

      I enjoy all your comments, even the ones I disagree with, but I’m not remembering any right now that I did disagree with. I hope you don’t leave just because some commenters disagree with some stuff you say. Can you link the discussion you are talking about?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:51 pm

        Oooh, the one about how you said some guys are just clueless v. guys who are scary. I do remember it. There was a bit of attacky-ness in the replies that seemed unnecessary to use with you in order to get their point across. ps I think its bs your comment here has down votes. It was honest and not nasty.

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        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:54 pm

        To be fair though, I think if I had said the same thing you did last week, I would’ve gotten the same feedback. I don’t think its just because you are a dude.

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        Breezy AM June 6, 2014, 4:01 pm

        I think part of that tho is it is SO GODDAMN FRUSTRATING that good guys like Diablo buy this shit about “just clueless.” Now, SOME are. Yes. A goddamned good deal of them are not. But they get away with it (social license to operate) by convincing regular, decent, nice guys like Diablo that OMG THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. Um. No. Not the same.
        .
        And they can convince them because we have this idea in our society that creepers are like, Freddy Krueger. No. They can be nice regular dudes who are in boy scouts, good babysitters, mow the old lady from church’s lawn, and just don’t get (insert that article that dude wrote about nerds finding the super mario princess).

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        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 4:06 pm

        That was his point though – that SOME are clueless. He wasn’t saying much other than that. He wasn’t denying that we can’t tell who is clueless and who is dangerous. He wasn’t saying work on the assumption that he’s safe. To say much other than “of course we know some are just clueless, but we can’t tell the difference, so we’re gonna play it on the safe side” was over the top, imo, because its Diablo. He doesn’t come on here like a troll ever.

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        DesiDad June 6, 2014, 3:52 pm

        I second that. Didn’t get a chance to read the other thread yet. I remember the one about the “movies,” though…

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        lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:53 pm

        That was snarkymarc. Jeez, not all DW male commenters are the same guy! Way to stereotype 😉

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        DesiDad June 6, 2014, 4:30 pm

        Oops, sorry! I guess now I am the clueless one…

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      • avatar

        SummerRose June 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

        Eh, Diablo,Snarkymarc,DesiDad. Really,what’s the difference, they’re all male 😛

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        DesiDad June 7, 2014, 4:36 pm

        Ha ha

        And ALL men are…

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      rachel June 6, 2014, 4:08 pm

      Diablo, I think your comments here are useful and welcome. The problem with that particular conversation I am chalking up to a miscommunication on either end, because I think you sound usually like a reasonable person. The whole point of the yesallwomen trend is the fact that every time a woman says something about creepy guys, the other guys around them feel the need to point out that they, themselves, are innocent and not creepy – rather than just listening to the woman’s experience and admitting, huh, yeah, that does sound creepy and I’m sorry you had to go through that. I think that with your comment you were basically just trying to give the guy in the letter the benefit of a doubt, but it came across kind of in the “not all men are creeps” way that I just described. I think that’s what kind of set people off (especially considering recent events), and it turned into an unproductive conversation.
      .
      Anyway, please don’t stop commenting. We like hearing your perspective on things around here.

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        ktfran June 6, 2014, 4:15 pm

        Agreed. I know I was one of the people strongly opposing what Diablo was saying. But this was also coming off recent events that were very disturbing and I was stupidly reading articles and comments that angered me. I enjoy Diablo’s comments, even if I don’t always agree. I like to read anothers perspective and maybe it was disheartening to read the excuse Diablo was trying to give the LW. IMO, the LW, did sound like a creep. Maybe an accidental creep, but a creep none the less.
        .
        I will also have to say that in Diablo’s example, the women he was pursuing, the one who came back and said try harder, is the exception, not the rule. Frankly she sounded a little crazy.

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        ktfran June 6, 2014, 4:21 pm

        Sorry, I don’t mean to beat a dead horse. Diablo, I hope you feel comfortable enough to comment again. I do enjoy a male’s opinion on this site and I would not like it if a heated conversation drove you away.

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      SummerRose June 6, 2014, 4:19 pm

      I have to say, I agree with you Diablo. I don’t comment often, but I’ve noticed that (likely because this is a mostly female site), commenters here are a lot harsher about guys, and that’s acceptable. I’ve also heard a lot of stereotypes commenters make about guys(On the flip side, I’m sure guys can be overly harsh about women on male sites). But when a male commenter complains about something, or make a generalizing statement about women, he’s immediately attacked. I’ve seen a couple comments where a male commenter is complaining about an ex-gf (in letters and in forums) and female commenters here say things like “well you aren’t perfect either,you sound kind of creepy,that’s a really mean thing to say about your ex,ect”. Yet when the female commenters complain about their exes (which happens here aaaall the time), people just accept that the exes are evil dicks and never question the women who are ragging on them. And I’m sure many of these exes ARE awful, but Jesus…are the rest of the commenters on here so perfect?

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        DesiDad June 6, 2014, 4:29 pm

        Thumbs-war!

        But seriously, I completely agree with SummerRose’s observation about the different responses that people give based on the LW’s gender. I don’t think that is fair.

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        SummerRose June 6, 2014, 4:37 pm

        I’d like to know who gave me thumbs down and what they disagree about haha.

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        ktfran June 6, 2014, 4:38 pm

        Thanks. Now I have “one, two, three, four, I declare a thumb war” stuck in my head. I kind of want to ask a coworker to play. Is that weird? Yes. It’s decidedly weird.

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        SummerRose June 6, 2014, 4:54 pm

        The ending to that is “five,six,seven,eight,i use this hand to masturbate”. Hahaha.

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        ktfran June 6, 2014, 4:59 pm

        Nice!
        .
        I must live under a rock, because I never heard that.

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        SummerRose June 6, 2014, 5:09 pm

        I first heard it about 4 months ago haha. It was a guy friend,so I don’t know if usually guys say this or if it’s a regular thing for anyone to say lol. I thought it was pretty funny though.

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        ktfran June 6, 2014, 5:11 pm

        Oh, hilarious!

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        MissDre June 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

        Agree with SummerRose

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2014, 4:55 pm

        ha, yea, ill agree with the female commenters “getting away” with stuff here, particularly about ex’s- i mean look at how much we hear about the “jerk” who dumped someone …. when really there was just a breakup, no jerkyness involved, and someone is not a jerk just because they dont want to date you!
        .
        but, ah, i mean i just dont think itll ever stop. that is like the female stereotype, what we are taught from birth, basically, and directly tied to our self worth. it would be *exhausting* to point that out every time we hear it.

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        SummerRose June 6, 2014, 5:08 pm

        Yeah. And it’s not even hearing about what a jerk someone is for not liking someone else. Because if someone is a jerk for not liking you, then we’re ALL jerks, because we’re not all attracted to guys who like us either. But I’ve read pretty disgusting comments like “my ex’s dick was kinda small,my new guy is even better”. Or “my ex was such a fatass”. And everyone is just like “LOLOL”. If a guy came on here and commented about how small his ex’s breasts were, or how fat his ex-gf was, he’d be FLAMED.

        No,it probably won’t stop, I agree. And look, I’ve read men’s sites where guys are like “My ex girlfriend was sooo ugly” and I feel like saying “Why’d you date her then, jackass”. So it’s not just women’s sites. But wow. If I were a guy,I probably wouldn’t want to date some of the commenters here,in fear of what they’d say about me if we broke up.

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      • katie

        katie June 6, 2014, 6:55 pm

        Yep, all good points. Honestly the only way to help it would be to change the entire narrative around dating and relationships in general. Because it isn’t that men and women are like inherently shitty about it, it’s just the shitty things we are taught. Like thinking that a relationship is the be all end all of life. Thinking that a woman owes you for being nice. Thinking that every date is going to result in a second, and then a relationship, and then a proposal, and then a marriage. All romcoms, ever made. Showing off for an ex. Ect. These super pervasive, openly accepted things would all have to be turned on their heads to help anything.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 6, 2014, 5:38 pm

      Don’t leave, Diablo! I like your comments, & I think we should give more leeway to regular dude commenters? Which is maybe unfair, but if you’re a dude commenting on DW…regularly…& overall adored…then one disagreeable comment shouldn’t result in SUPER backlash. This is actually the perfect space, I think, for men & women to openly discuss gender issues WITH each other? & giving each other the benefit of the doubt? So I’m sad you were piled-on*

      *I vaguely saw where this happened, but for the record didn’t read carefully either Diablo’s comment or the responses. SOOO. But I think Diablo has his head on straight, & I’m sad he actually thought of NOT COMMENTING ANYMORE. That’s not allowed, Diablz (sorry, tried to rhyme)

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      mainer June 11, 2014, 10:04 am

      I do agree with your perspective. As someone who definitely use to comment a lot more, I soon found it exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, as far as advice websites go this is one of the safest to write in to because everyone does genuinely care to a certain degree and you will avoid nonsensical perspectives like ‘God is punishing the LW because homosexuals are now allowed to hold hands in public.’ And, primarily getting letter-writers who are female, having a lot of other female-base anecdotal advice to add to Wendy’s is vastly more beneficial for the LW.

      That being said, I do find the comments section to be quite boring. There is a lot of WWS going on, and a lot of “let’s all agree to keep the collective message consistent.” And if I do find a letter with a lot of comments to it, 9 out of 10 times it is because there is some tangent of inner-group forum-style subsection that I just can’t follow or don’t find interesting because I’m not on “the in.” I do get the feeling that there is a strong camaraderie among the regulars and, as such, any dissenting views need to be expressed so delicately that it almost isn’t worth it. There are many times where I wanted to, and sometimes have, offered different perspectives or given the antagonist in any given letter then benefit of the doubt, but a lot of times I just tell myself to forget about it and move on to whatever other tab on my favorites bar I use to fill my pockets of boredom. I wouldn’t necessarily refer to that eagerness to engage a debate as trolling so much as to sometimes it’s nice to see a little back-and-forth. And believe me, when this site was getting going a few years ago and the community was more diverse, I read, and was involved in, many intelligent debates, where no one person was more right than the other but simply different views and perspectives. And these made for some great reads. BitterGayMark is notorious for speaking his mind, and though his opinions are not greeted with open hands all the times, his views are no less valid than anyone else’s. I remember AnitaBeth always had some differing views, usually in a contentious toe-to-toe with BGM, and they were presented from an intelligent and rational perspective. She even went head-to-head with Wendy on a few things she didn’t agree on. JSW was also involved in some heavy debate and his opinions were always very well put together. There are many others, but those are just a few I recalled who were never afraid to speak their mind. And these weren’t people who were feeding hatred or spewing nonsense, but they did encourage some sort of engagement. I do feel they were pushed to a point of no longer being interesting in commenting, however, and I do kind of miss that diversity. That was a big part of visiting the site. I don’t ever get a burning desire to read about another person’s life issue, but getting to see people from all over the country and world offer up their two-cents, and yes sometimes argue, made for a fascinating read. I will still read a letter every now and then and see how Wendy chose to address it, but I do find myself only glossing over the comments section.

      Now, I am not saying that what exists here now is a bad thing. There was obviously a pretty big effort to foster a certain environment here and I think that effort was achieved and, relative to other sites out there, an overall success. But the pendulum may have swung a bit too far in the direction it was heading. A comments section with little to no argument, disagreement, or intellectual back-and-forth does make reading such a section almost as trite as the retched trolling sensationalism that is seen on other sites. However, in the bigger picture, this being an advice site where people write in with issues they are vulnerable on, it is comforting for the LW to be surrounded by kindness over criticism, and I think Wendy has done a great job ensuring that her site is the site she wants it to be.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark June 11, 2014, 6:43 pm

        This all reads as very true… It seems many of the more interesting voices have all up and fled. And I totally get why. It can be exhausting to comment on here as if you don’t toe the “partyline” certain people go way, way overboard in attacking you. Personally, I must confess I find it all very amusing. But I can certainly see why many others do not and have thus disappeared.

        Anitabath and I never saw eye to eye. That said, we never went at each other’s throats either. We never made it personal. Lately, on here, it’s not enough to disagree with somebody, but instead there is the mob mentality that they are NOT only disagreeing with you, but thus clearly and obviously oh so much the better person, too. Eh, it’s all very holier-than-thou and, frankly, rather sickening.

        Worse, it has definitely made the comments a boring read as of late. All the interesting and challenging voices are simply no longer around.

        “I am big. It’s the comments that got small…”

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray June 11, 2014, 10:58 pm

        You make some pretty good points. I feel like no one can have a discussion anymore without getting offensive. Your comment about dissenting views needing to be expressed so delicately is spot on.

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  • avatar

    _s_ June 6, 2014, 3:38 pm

    Ugh, I read the childfree article earlier in the week, and it kind of ticked me off. It was basically saying either “I don’t have kids, BUT it’s OK because I really did want kids, I just couldn’t find a mate,” or else “I don’t have kids, BUT it’s OK because I’m still really nurturing and maternal, and I have lots of kids in my life (i.e. I’m an aunt/teacher/whatever).” Um, no. How about, “I don’t want kids but it’s OK because I just don’t want kids. I don’t have to make excuses or justifications to make it OK.” Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I am or have to be “nurturing” or “maternal” or “into kids.” Grr!

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      lets_be_honest June 6, 2014, 3:40 pm

      I heart you.

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      _s_ June 6, 2014, 3:54 pm

      And to clarify – I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with people who did want kids but life circumstances didn’t work out, or who don’t want kids but are happily involved in kids’ lives, or that their experiences/feelings aren’t valid – they certainly are! I just mean that those of us who don’t have kids should NOT have to apologize/add in those qualifiers to make the fact that we don’t want/have kids more palatable to the public at large.

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      MsMisery June 9, 2014, 1:18 pm

      Preach. I’ve known I didn’t want kids since I was a teenager, and I’ve spent the whole time since convincing everyone around me I wasn’t mental. I don’t think they believe me, but at least most of them have stopped asking about it.

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  • Jess

    Jess June 6, 2014, 4:12 pm

    Wendy, I know I’ve said this in the past but one of the things that I think you should be most proud of with this site, is the community you have fostered. Typically you find this only on paid membership sites or closed/private groups. You’ve done an excellent job moderating and now I realize there was much more going on behind the scenes too. It’s not just a reason I come back to DW daily but its the reason I feel comfortable leaving comments. I love being able to join a conversation where I know my words are usually considered and where I often gain new insights by listening to the thoughtful comments of others. That there are now city meet-ups is a natural extension of what you have created. It’s incredibly rare and I agree that the brutality of comments is a reason to avoid a site, hands down.

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  • avatar

    theotherbarb June 6, 2014, 7:48 pm

    Three things I love right now (among a lot of other things) about Dear Wendy: One, we get a family of commenters that is is truly outstanding, and very few pesky trolls. The very few that have been allowed in (NSP, anyone?) have been valuable lessons in relationships (and BTW, sure would like to know if SP is still around in another incarnation…not which incarnation, just if…). Two, I am thrilled to know that Wendy’s parents read DW and all the comments. Makes me feel like less of a…well, stalker, I guess. Can’t deny that I’m a lurker, though! To give more kudos to the DW family: they are an extremely cool bunch, and should consider that anybody who’s reading DW regularly while perhaps not as cool (ahem!) is VERY appreciative! SOOO, Three: DW is unique in that Wendy does her own stuff. The web site is so well done. I used to do work on web sites and still do to a small degree (now just content) so sorta know this stuff. I do read other advice columns (blasphemy, I know!) and most are controlled by their syndicates. If you can even find comments, it seems that those sites are somewhat less than controlling when it comes to the comments. The DW community is smart, savvy, thoughtful, with great senses of humor – and that includes Diablo AND BGM! Keep it up!

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  • avatar

    Lindsay June 7, 2014, 11:20 am

    Sometimes I also wish we’d not be so quick to call LW’s idiots (or act like it). By the nature of this site, we’re going to get people who are totally clueless and in ridiculous situations. I think that some LWs are clearly uneducated people who are living out scripts that people in their corner of society have been living out for years, and I do think there’s a form of privilege in knowing how relationships should work and having seen people in your life who have strong, healthy ones. Aside from that, other people just simply aren’t as smart as others or have confidence issues or other problems that cause them to make bad choices, and I don’t think making people feel stupid for it is helpful or kind.

    That said, I do think commenting here is 100x better than anywhere else on the internet. Maybe that’s why I hold it to such high standards in my mind? I’m not trying to bring down the celebratory atmosphere, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about. I guess I started thinking about how I felt after some harsh comments I’ve gotten, and just saw it as probably much stronger for a random person who wrote in (or times when a reader/lurker writes in anonymously).

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