Issue with one particular blog

I wish there was a way to control what blogs appear within a blogroll in Google Reader. Here’s why.

I use Google Reader to keep up with the fatosphere. I added two versions of the Fatosphere blogroll (after I realized that the first version I added was slower to update) as well as the Fat Liberation blogroll (since there might be some blogs on that roll that are not in the Fatosphere).

One newcomer to the Fat Liberation blogroll is a right-wing blogger who goes by the nick “Coffee Catholic”. I know that there is space here for varying opinions but when I read a comment from that blogger that goes “That’s because you creepy man-looking Feminist/Liberals cannot even begin to imagine what it means to love beyond your selfish self-serving selves.”, it pisses me off and makes me feel attacked. She turned off comments for some reason (ummm, wonder why?) and to be frank, aside from one or two entries, I don’t even see what her blog has to do with being fat.

I’m kinda sitting on the fence here (I could imagine that if that person subscribed to the blogrolls, she’d skip over nudiemuse’s entries, to name one blogger whose overall opinions and points of view are at the spectrum opposite of Coffee Catholic’s). I admit it: I am a liberal, left-wing, pro-choice agnostic feminist fat straight woman (phew! that’s a lot of adjectives!!!) who believes in the right for gay marriage and gay rights in general. I rarely (if ever) discuss politics and religion in my writings because I feel these topics to be private. So when I read homophobic, right-wing, anti-feminist entries (that have nothing to do with fat acceptance) in the blogroll, it makes me uncomfortable.

I don’t know where the line can be crossed for someone’s blog to become unsuitable for the Fat Liberation roll, but for now, my only option is to quickly scroll down whenever I see the name Coffee Catholic.

*Update* A couple of readers have mentioned adding blogs individually in google reader. It is a good idea per se, but I’m afraid to miss out on some wonderful new addition to the group if I proceeded that way. I also find that, with all the blogs I enjoy reading, this would make Google Reader even more cluttered than it is already (I did add some individual blogs that have nothing to do with FA but that I enjoy reading, like You may also like and Will write for chocolate). Guess there is no perfect solution… Meh.

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25 Comments

  1. September 25, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Yeah. I developed the same scroll-like-mad policy after that same person posted a graphic image of a little girl who’d been intentionally burned to death. It’s like, yeah, i know how to find rotten.com, too, thanks.

  2. vesta44 said,

    September 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I’ve checked that one out a couple of times too, and haven’t found much that relates to fat acceptance either. So that’s one I don’t read, at all, ever. I added the blogs I read to Google Reader one at a time, instead of adding them through feeds like the Fat Liberation one. That way, if a blog starts veering off FA, I can delete it from GR. It’s time-consuming to do it that way, but it makes for easier management of my Reader.

  3. April D said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Wow I actually didn’t see a post from this particularlly referenced blog until just after I read this post of yours and was just puzzled but some of the harsh accusations in the Coffe Catholic blog post I read. I wanted to discuss back and forth on some topics she brought up but, as you noted, there was no option to comment. Bummer! Oh well, the right to just use a blog as a diary is there I suppose.

  4. Resto said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Glad to see someone else shares my opinion of “coffee catholic”. When I first subscribed to various feeds I didn’t see the…rhetoric I’ve seen these past several entries. I saw someone who was certainly far to the right of me, but not hateful. Now, she just seems hateful, like a troll turned blogger, whose only nods to FA seem to be referring to herself as fat.

    I also noted the lack of comment ability…seems to me like most entries in a blog feed should be required to enable comments on at least 75% of their entries in order to remain on that feed. As in, if you want your blog to have a larger audience through a blog feed, you prepare yourself to accept the risks (differing opinions, trolls) as well as the rewards (higher readership). If I wanted someone to preach rabid, often unreasonable right-wing stuff at me without me being able to respond, I’d watch Bill O’Reilly.

    I think I may do what Vesta does and just unsubscribe to the feeds and subscribe to individual blogs.

  5. Lalaroo said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Gosh, can I just say I’m so glad to hear someone say something about this? I am a Christian, so at first I was pleased to have a self-professed Christian on the feed (seems like most bloggers in general are atheist or agnostic, which is fine, but I was excited) but then she started talking all this stuff that was so strange! Like, in California pastors MUST marry any gay couple that asks them to, and if they don’t they get arrested. What? That doesn’t make any sense! And then the stuff about “real men” and horrible man-hating femists who have feminized all men through our awesome powers. Like, when did we become all-powerful, and how did this happen without the patriarchy disappearing? Hint to Coffee Catholic: “Feminist” is not interchangeable with “person that doesn’t agree with me and who I hate because of it.” Feminists actually have goals and stuff that define us. And advocating that women should be sex objects is kind of the opposite of what feminists do, ma’am – I think you’re a little confused.
    /rant, and thanks!

  6. Emily said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I feel exactly the same. As a feminist fat woman I feel that she misrepresents my positions and insulted by what she writes. I thought for a while that I had accidently added the wrong blog thingi but checked and no… It’s not that her positions differ from my own, it’s the scorn she heaps upon anyone like me. I would never say ‘all catholics believe…’ I’m probably going to switch to subscriping to individual blogs as well. I’m glad someone brought this up. 🙂

  7. September 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    […] the presence of CoffeeCatholic on the Fat Liberation feed This started as a comment on this post, at Dancing With My Mirror. One newcomer to the Fat Liberation blogroll is a right-wing blogger who […]

  8. miriamheddy said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I agree with you, and I tried to say as much to Big Liberty. But her response was to say that whether you see CoffeeCatholic as engaging in ad hominem attacks or not was “a matter of perspective” and that when CC was talking about those “manly, selfish, feminist liberals” (who get their jollies killing people), she wasn’t talking about *all* feminists but only about *some*, specific feminists (Y’know, *those* feminists who’re manly and selfish and murderous). I suppose this is sort of the old, “Oh, but I wasn’t talking about you when I said that fat people were hideous, ugly people with no self-respect or self-control.”

    Then, when I linked to a definition of ad hominem attacks (because they really are not a matter of perspective, almost by definition, unless you want to get into wild arguments in which being called “manly” and “selfish” are actually coded *compliments*), Big Liberty said I was just being another elitist liberal and shut down comments.

    So… not so much with the progress there. I’m interested in what a wide variety of people think, but not when it means being subject to being characterized as part of a straw group, and when polite dissent and argument are taken as personal attack.

  9. Lalaroo said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Yeah. Big Liberty also said that not liking being called all those horrible names is not a legitimate criticism of the inclusion of Coffee Catholic on the feed. But you know, if I saw a blog on the fatosphere that leveled the same amount of vitriol and attacks at conservatives as a group, you can bet I’d be complaining about it. My family is conservatives, so I’m very sensitive to attacks on all Republicans as evil and terrible – I just haven’t seen that from the fatosphere.

  10. Mia said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    I find it quite amusing how you complain about this blog not allowing comments. How is this any different than the widespread policy in the fatosphere of censoring any comment that does not not march in lockstep with the party line? Sandy Swarcz doesn’t allow comments, but I don’t see that stopping anyone from fawning all over her as some sort of scientific genius. Kate Harding deletes anything that doesn’t agree with her, but she’s still the de facto leader of the cause. Why don’t you hold the fatosphere to the same standard?

  11. miriamheddy said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Mia, are you asking a rhetorical question, or are you genuinely wanting an answer? Because I think the answer to your question can be found by looking closely at the “comments policy” on those blogs that allow comments. No comments policy that I’ve ever read has suggested a need to “march in lockstep with the party line.” Some do, however, forbid diet talk (for reasons usually outlined in their policy statements) and they do delete troll comments (again, as defined in their comments policy).

    As for Sandy’s blog, people have, in the past, expressed their desire to have her accept comments, but as she has decided not to, most of us discuss what she’s said in our own blogs in other parts of the ‘sphere. I won’t even address the “fawning over her as some sort of scientific genius” except to say that you’ve obviously somehow missed those conversations that have been critical of her writing, and your skepticism of her “scientific genius” is setting up a straw argument, as she has made no claims as such (nor have I seen any of Sandy’s readers, however much they admire her deconstructions of and close reading of scientific research articles and government policy statements).

  12. ladyjaye75 said,

    September 25, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Agreed that comments oughta be opened and it did happen quite a few times that I would have liked to comment on Sandy’s blogs. But then again, as controversial as Sandy’s blog can be for some people, she doesn’t attack people in her posts. As for Kate, doesn’t she allow people to dissent as long as it doesn’t dwelve into flamewars? That’s the difficulty with managing blog comments (and any other discussion forums): sometimes people do overstep the “let’s agree to disagree” principle and fall out into flamewars and name-calling. I think that putting a stop to flamewars is not the same thing as outright censorship, and I for one certainly won’t start an analysis of comment policing of every blog featured in the fatosphere.

  13. Rachel said,

    September 25, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    I don’t mind reading dissenting opinions that are logically argued and justified effectively, but I often find that people devolve into personal and superficial attacks when they have nothing left to argue with/for. I don’t read the Fat Liberation feed, and from what I increasingly hear about it, I’m not missing out on much.

  14. Bri said,

    September 25, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    Thank the gods people feel like I do. I have been scrolling past CC very fast for some time now.

  15. Talespun said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Besides…. Kate’s blog is Kate’s blog, de-facto leader of the fatosphere or not. If she wants to delete any and all dissent (Not that I feel she does), it’s her blog she is perfectly within her rights to have it any way she likes. That’s one of the perks of blogging.

  16. JupiterPluvius said,

    September 26, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Like, in California pastors MUST marry any gay couple that asks them to, and if they don’t they get arrested. What? That doesn’t make any sense!

    Did CoffeeCatholic really say that? Because of course that’s a flat-out lie.

  17. CordyQ said,

    September 26, 2008 at 1:31 am

    I can totally understand where you are coming from with this post. I, like Lalaroo said, was also happy to see a professed Christian on the feed. I was quite distressed at the contents I read though as sadly it seemed like the same content that I have had close non-christian friends tell me was the reason they could never believe in the love of God. That frustrated me but I could bypass that blog ok.

    I think the thing that it boils down to for me is I subscribe to these FA feeds for the FA content. I get enough political crap shoveled at me during the day as it is, and I really do get very frustrated seeing blogs on either feeds that time and time again with posts that have diddly squat to do with FA, HAES, or self acceptance and living as a fat person in this world. F-words on the Fatosphere is one that constantly seems to hurt me lol I can count about two posts on the whole main page which consists of a ton of posts that have anything to do with FA in any sort of way… maybe 4 if you really stretch. The rest is all about how horrid or stupid or wrong conservative/republican people or McCain/Palin are and I assure you I respect her right to have those opinions I really do and I think she is a great person. I just get so weary and exhausted of feeling slammed whenever I accidentally click on a link in the feed that leads to that blog.

    I guess I will have to do as vesta does as well and chose my blogs seperately which is sad cause I know that both feeds have more of a reach than I do and I won’t see any of the new blogs that may pop up and would miss something good. I am here for the FA/HAES topics and I while I understand deviating from that from time to time.. when a blog becomes totally off that topic it would seem to me that it would no longer hold a place on a FA feed.
    I wouldn’t subscribe to a blog feed about my religious and and political beliefs and think it is right that there be blogs with the majority of the content be full of fat hatred or anti fat posts, that wouldn’t sit right with me and I would voice concern about them being on the feed. I would hope others would do the same and would feel upset if I was told to just ignore it (I mean for crying out loud that is what I have always been told all my life in response to being abused because of my weight and ignoring it has gotten me a lot of scars) so I admit to feeling upset at having to wade through alot of posts against my beliefs politically and religiously just to participate in FA blogs.

    That being said I do know we all have different views.. and that is good.. I just wish that the main FA feeds could keep an eye out and weed out those blogs so that we can ALL exist in the world of the Fat …. and to end this I want to say I am so glad I found this Fatosphere… very very glad. Even those who may not agree with me.. but voice their opinion in a way that doesn’t make me feel like crap I really enjoy and appreciate!

  18. Froth said,

    September 26, 2008 at 1:55 am

    If the fat acceptance movement is worth the name then it ought to care more about fat acceptance than politics and comment policies. I am not talking just about this case.

    If getting people to accept fat is really what we’re after, then we can’t spend our energy choosing the worthiest people to include . We need every voice we can get. All religions, all parties, all races. Every voice.

  19. Sarah said,

    September 26, 2008 at 6:02 am

    CC is not on the feed anymore. And I think that’s shameful. The opinions of other people (no matter HOW they express themselves) are valid. Big Liberty is correct – it’s OK for those on the left to make the same exact types of attacks as CC does, but somehow it’s acceptable because it’s *us* making the attacks. But when the shoe is on the other food – well, you’d think that would teach you a lesson.

    I don’t read the Fat Liberation feed, and from what I increasingly hear about it, I’m not missing out on much.

    And that is exactly why the feed was established in the first place. I don’t understand why the fat acceptance movement became so PC-feminist-leftist. If you can’t take criticism of your preciously held ideas, then maybe they weren’t so solid in the first place.

    I guess the “open” minds of the left aren’t so open after all.

  20. emmy. said,

    September 26, 2008 at 6:39 am

    first of all, first time reader and i love the title of your blog.. and your blog in general, of course.

    second, i have a no-tolerance policy for close-mindedness. isn’t it the general unwritten rule to not discuss religion or politics on the whole? i, too, and a left-wing liberal. i have no problem with those who are not, in any way, shape or form (no pun intended) as long as you respect my ideas and my right to my own beliefs as well. where does someone get off thinking they have the right to judge at all.

    i apologize for this being my first introduction with you, but i had to say something. i can’t stand when people really overstep the boundaries like that.

  21. Lalaroo said,

    September 26, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    First, off, Sarah, that’s a false argument. I haven’t seen any of the leftist blogs make the same kind of ad hominem attacks as Coffee Catholic. And gee, sorry I’m so close-minded that I don’t appreciate being called a killer, creepy, and unable to love anyone but myself. How strange that I don’t welcome those kinds of personal attacks and condemnations!

    And JupiterPluvius, she did actually say that. Here’s her exact words: “In California it is now illegal for a Christian minister of any stripe to deny marriage to homosexuals.” It’s in this post.

  22. JupiterPluvius said,

    September 26, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    And JupiterPluvius, she did actually say that. Here’s her exact words: “In California it is now illegal for a Christian minister of any stripe to deny marriage to homosexuals.” It’s in this post.

    That’s a lie.

    And therefore, not “valid”.

    So so much for the “her opinions are as valid as everyone else” because telling flat-out lies is not a “valid opinion.”

  23. julie said,

    September 26, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Ah, the closed-minded anti-liberal crap again. Why does being a lefty mean that I have to accept intolerant, hateful crap? I don’t know why people think any leftie has to accept hateful bullshit, in the guise of open mindedness. I can believe what I want and not what you say, and because I care about the environment and believe that everybody deserves some rights, even if they’re not male, white, thin, and wealthy, doesn’t mean I have to tolerate selfish, intolerant, ignorant blather.

  24. LibertyBelle58 said,

    September 27, 2008 at 9:07 am

    CLosed minded? Or, on the other hand, the open-minded who do NOT think like you? God forbid. You do not seemto realize that there is an entire subset who does NOT think like you. How about considering THEM? Eh? I realize that it is SO contrary to your thinking, but get USED TO IT. The pro-life aren’t going ANYWHERE. You might want to try to contend with them.

  25. Lalaroo said,

    September 27, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    I TOTALLY agree with LibertyBelle58, and I ALSO think it would be a good idea to TRY and CAPITALIZE random words in all of our COMMENTS. Because SOMEHOW, even after eight years of a REPUBLICAN/PRO-LIFE administration, we’ve forgotten that PEOPLE like our PRESIDENT exist.


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