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04 June 2005

hiding behind little girlie noises. ok, in an attempt to be more user-friendly and less abrasive i'm asking for advice. what is a suitable way of replying to comments like "all those code thingies make me fall asleep with in 30 seconds". especially when their homepage mentions "architecture/art/design/community"? [more]
trying to organise my thoughts, i guess i'm curious to know:
1 - is this real? or is it some kind of post-modern ironic thing?
2 - should i care? she's free to say what she wants, i know (i'm not wanting to ban such talk; i want to know if/how i should respond to it). but isn't the ditzy femal cliche offensive? or is that way too old fashioned (getting back to point 1 above)?
3 - if it is real, and worth caring about, what do you do?
taz (for example, or dame) - you're a smart, sassy woman who emphatically doesn't do this, right? please, help me...
posted by andrew cooke 04 June | 14:48
or am i wrong in even making the connection with sex here?
posted by andrew cooke 04 June | 14:49
(yes, my partner is away, which is why i'm (1) posting more and (2) don't have a token female to ask these thingt to).
posted by andrew cooke 04 June | 14:50
mefi has jumped the shark in terms of users. by and large, most mefite denizens of the past were html literate. nowadays people don't know how to do even the most rudimentary html and they think people who do are "coders". i even had an argument with some dweeb once when i insisted html isn't coding. its markup, and morons can master enough to survive mefi in about 5 minutes. but no, them code thingys make 'em fall asleep. snore away, my little pretties. i can do without you, i marked up all my pages in notepad, i coded my own blog in PHP, and it just isn't that hard. and i've seen some incredibly artistic and complex html markup done by girls, far beyond what i'm capable of. people don't even know what view source is. the web is built in web, it self-explains, and the people who can't grasp that are, well, i feel sorry for them.
posted by quonsar 04 June | 15:04
Well I'm not dame or taz but I can be the token female. Andrew, I think you're reading too much into it. She may have been sort of embarrassed to admit that she didn't know how to do something so basic, and may also have been a bit embarrassed to see that her question's been asked a zillion times before. I read maybe a little bit of a defense mechanism into her follow-up comment (the one that you linked), but of course, playing the cute card is not something ALL women do, and you know that. It's what tarantula does. muchograssyass!
posted by iconomy 04 June | 15:09
next time, lay on your jacket.
posted by quonsar 04 June | 15:11
or am i wrong in even making the connection with sex here?

Pretty much.

People have different strengths and weaknesses. Maybe said user is great at drafting, but not so good with computers. It happens.

Metafilter can be a really intimidating place. Surely you know that. Opinions are strong, reactions swift, and asking for help understanding things you don't (even if they're obvious to others) can be daunting.

My guess is that the poster wasn't hiding behind "girly noises" so much as she was trying to soften her plea. You know, something like self-deprecation leads to sympathy leads to a better chance of not being mocked for asking a potentially dumb question. It's obviously an approach that didn't work so well, but it may have seemed safe at the time.

Know what I mean?
posted by mudpuppie 04 June | 15:11
we're too old.
yeah, on preview, i guess so. off to but some bread.
maybe delete this thread in case she sees it and finds it critical?
on preview preview - indeed, i have done the same.
posted by andrew cooke 04 June | 15:12
but -> buy, in case that sounds too weird.
posted by andrew cooke 04 June | 15:12
PS - I meant that she played it in that particular thread, not that she plays it all the time. I wouldn't know that.

PSS - If the way someone words something really rankles you, you can simply not say anything, and let someone who won't be abrasive or personal answer the question.
posted by iconomy 04 June | 15:13
And to answer your original question, the best non-abrasive response might be none at all.
posted by mudpuppie 04 June | 15:13
*makes little girlie noises*

;) I'd tell her to ask her dad, but then I try to use mudpuppies suggestion as often as possible.
posted by dabitch 04 June | 15:17
My opinion of people who don't understand markup is _____. My suggestion to Matt is _____.
posted by thatweirdguy2 04 June | 15:19
Actually I wouldn't respond but there would some heavy eye rolling going on, prolly followed up by an "oh puhleeze" then I'd move onto the next thread.
posted by squeak 04 June | 15:22
The homepage is no longer linked on her userpage.

Maybe she is dyslexic or has a learning disability that makes it difficult for her to understand even though she is in a related field.

Why are you so emotionally invested?

You need a chill pill and a root beer float, my man.
posted by mlis 04 June | 15:27
You might gently explain that basic HTML is not coding, but formatting, and thus make a link with word processing, which most people are familiar with. Neither 'hypertext' nor 'markup' mean a lot to many people; but they've all (presumably) pressed B to bold and then to finish bolding text; and comparing this with tags might help to break the log-jam/misperception that basic HTML is somehow a complex activity.
posted by carter 04 June | 15:39
ok, to reply to a few points above:
- i agree that it's best to say nothing. that's why i haven't said anything.
- why am i so emotionally invested? i guess partly because i've been a bit ill and stuck inside with not much company except the 'net. but also, this is the kind of old-fashioned politics i believe in - all that dated stuff about cultural roles and power structures.
anyway, i now have a bar of chocolate, a good book, and a glass of carmenere and shall duly chill.
posted by andrew cooke 04 June | 15:47
1. I doubt she's being ironic.
2. Don't care too much about things like this. It'll drive you insane. As a female, I would say that yes, the ditzy cliche is a bit offensive - sure, maybe she didn't search too hard before she asked, but AskMe is supposed to be a little more helpful and free of sarcasm than the blue and grey.
3. If you decide it IS worth caring about, answer her question politely. The comment you linked might be irksome, but I agree with iconomy - it might be her method of diverting abrasive comments.

Also - just because her homepage references "architecture/art/design/community" - that doesn't mean she knows anything about markup. She may have had a friend do her page. Those four categories may have nothing to do with Web/Internet activities.
posted by ArsncHeart 04 June | 15:50
*uses little girl noises as purposefully as i yell "Look, man, I DONT SPEAK ENGLISH, capice? No COMPRENDE! Your barbarian grunting may as well be Welsh to me, so outta my face, bubba--"*
posted by ethylene 04 June | 16:16
"...can do without you, i marked up all my pages in notepad, i coded my own blog in PHP, and it just isn't that hard."

Jesus, quonsar, you're like that guy that installs Redhat on their PC at home and they think they're UNIX adminstrators. Give it a fucking rest, all this your supposed superiority because you've got what amounts to user context high computer literacy. Or show me your fucking resume. Or just shut the fuck up.
posted by kmellis 04 June | 19:32
don't you hate it when the meatworld isn't use to the non meatworld and still trying to use it?
the stupid local library hasn't seen it fit to let me know my user id so i can't renew online, and i don't know if they are going to charge me depending or the date or time.
i hate it when people offer me services they haven't serviced.

watch blockbuster fall in the face of it or me stare at my dsl provider for not being able to deal with my account online.

i love meatworld/i hate meatworld
i want my library to be able to afford being open on sunday and get their web page in order
posted by ethylene 04 June | 20:15
I like children. Girl children...about 18 or 20.
posted by warbaby 04 June | 21:12
i like kittens
hot kittens under six months baby
that's where you get your juggling action

as they say: the younger the meat, the better poker chip in kitten poker
posted by ethylene 04 June | 21:17
Oh, and by the way, ease up. Have you seen her posts? Not bad, not bad at all.

Were I in that end of the country, I would offer some, uh, guidance and, er, support. In a neighborly way, of course. Mmmmmm. Southern cooking. Yas.
posted by warbaby 04 June | 21:19
i didn't mean anything for or against tarantula at all
there's nothing wrong with her question or who chooses to help

rather thought this thread passed it after kmellis
why are people picking on the quonsar either?
posted by ethylene 04 June | 21:23
/rarely literal
posted by ethylene 04 June | 21:24
when i see tarantula i think of the cover by this mortal coil
*blink blink*

honey, i been down south
posted by ethylene 04 June | 21:45
rather thought this thread passed it after kmellis
why are people picking on the quonsar either?

Quonsar is a big boy & can take care of himself. Kmellis has the best comment in this thread. Now, please, please, please, do not respond, just sit back and work on getting your blog functional!
posted by mlis 04 June | 22:06
That is not funny - someone has altered my post from "best comment in this thread" to how it currently reads. I have emailed dodgy & taz.
posted by mlis 04 June | 23:04
*whistles innocently*
posted by quonsar 04 June | 23:25
*strokes both mlis and quonsar's little heads*
better now?

ok, put your toys away and stop assuming a tarantula is more fragile than a quonsar

or i'm less tarantula than quonsar
or trying to make a diversion from the judging into conversation is picking on or picking sides

now don't let's anyone esteem anything too muchly
now blow and wipe and i put something on one of my instasites for you

shhh now...
posted by ethylene 05 June | 00:43
Dear Andrew,

I am sorry not to have seen your question till now, but I was drinking a lot yesterday. Anyway, since no one has made this point, I think it may still be helpful. You weren't necessarily wrong in seeing sex in it, but I think you may have been seeing sex the wrong way. That is, one of the stereotypes men have to live up to but women don't is the idea of self-sufficient competence across a wide range of activites. If you're a guy, you're expected to know how to fix stuff, look it up yourself, etc. As a girl, it's way more acceptable to say, "Oh, I'm totally stupid about X. You who are not, please explain it because I hate reading those things that never make any sense." And for a girl, it's not an admission of overall weakness.

Really, I'd rather guys not feel like they have to be totally competent, instead of encouraging girls not to say stuff like that.

Love and kisses,
posted by dame 05 June | 11:52
I'm also late to the party because its been sunny outside, but (having only read the comment and not the whole thing) that "all those code thingies make me fall asleep with in 30 seconds" isn't really a girly statement. Its a "code makes my eyes glaze over" statement, which has little to do with gender.

I can write (a little) html. Enough to build a basic website, but nothing fancy. However, I don't have enough of a "math brain" to figure out CSS and I have to admit that on many Mefi tech discussions my eyes glaze over and I tend to wander away or doze off.

People learn things in different ways. We underestimate, sometimes, how intimidating all those weird symbols and strange abreviations can be sometimes. I was at a party last night where a friend was wearing a t-shirt that had a bit of html code on the front, and we fell into an eye opening conversation with someone who could think only of the carats 'less-than' and 'greater-than' symbols.

on preview: and see! I can't even figure out how to make this comment box recognize the carat and other symbols enough to include them in my post
posted by anastasiav 05 June | 12:19
I'm a girl and I design and build software for a living. Not dinky HTML. Real code. Grrrrrr.
posted by matildaben 06 June | 17:46
Randomiser. || Are we allowed...