🐳actually, it's as much a bingo card as it is an alignment chart
September 16, 2018 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Science Twitter presents the DnD-style alignment chart we never knew we needed: the nine types of 'Reply Guys.'

@sbarolo: #WomeninSTEM get a lot of “Reply Guys” who repeat the same unhelpful comments. @shrewshrew and I (a woman & a man in science) have attempted to catalog those replies, to save us all the trouble of writing new responses every time.
posted by deludingmyself (50 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
 
This brilliant, and I shall distribute it far and wide.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 10:15 AM on September 16, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm practicing my #4 by organizing just the main images in a Twitter moment for easier reading.
posted by Nelson at 10:25 AM on September 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


What do the rows stand for? Did I miss it?
posted by jeather at 10:30 AM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I fucking love this
posted by lalochezia at 10:34 AM on September 16, 2018


I'm like jeather. Columns are good <> evil alignment, and I think we all agree that Trolls are chaotic-evil. But Himpathy is True Neutral? Hmmm. Here, let me mansplain this to you...
posted by SPrintF at 10:39 AM on September 16, 2018


The best and worst thing about #ninereplyguys is all the reply guys that are coming out of the woodwork to argue with it. This one is classic.
posted by sockermom at 10:40 AM on September 16, 2018 [20 favorites]


What do the rows stand for?

Tone deaf, shitty, asshole?
posted by nubs at 10:40 AM on September 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


They built this plane while flying it, but @shrewshrew has now classified the rows as "civil," defensive, and self-absorbed.
posted by deludingmyself at 10:47 AM on September 16, 2018 [19 favorites]


Haha, as the twitter thread explains (farther down though), they made it more in order of which ones they were going to explain first (somewhat correlated to frequency or perceived frequency), and put the column organizational scheme on later. Below that is a discussion of potential row organizational scheme as well.
posted by eviemath at 10:48 AM on September 16, 2018


I fucking love @shrewshrew, okay.

I honestly think the Good column is the one that drives me nuts the worst, because it takes the most energy to engage with--and if you don't engage, you wind up having to question things like "are people going to tell me I'm a rude bitch because of my twitter account?" (I say this because I have absolutely had work colleagues who know about my twitter account, which is most of them because I use it to network professionally on science twitter, come up to me and tell me I'm being mean because of how I handle certain things.)

It's relatively easy to identify the folks who don't mean well and just roll your eyes and block them, because you definitely don't have a relationship with them and they almost certainly aren't embedded in your professional networks, either. They're easier to blow off, because they do a really bad job weaponizing your empathy and the human reliance on social rules once you know how to spot their tactics. The ones that really do mean well and are maybe at least slightly invested in the thing they're 'splaining to you, though, or who are asking you for validation as men, or who want to tell you what bullshit imaginary fantasy thing they would do in your situation?

Fuck, I hate them so much because they get so overwhelming and they genuinely are trying and I can't just write them off or ignore them because that's the closest to allyship you get, a lot of the time, and without them who is going to help out with the ones who don't mean well? And they're also the most likely to actually be people who are just in my social circles--not necessarily people I know directly but certainly people who know people I know directly, if you know what I mean, and that means I have to be more polite and careful when handling them because the consequences to my social position are so much heavier. But they take so much emotional energy and careful handling!

Fuck, it's the fucking worst. Give me a sea lioner I can write off and maybe briefly mock and hurl out of my attentional sphere any day, instead of someone who sees me post something about hurting or being frustrated and then immediately demands I step into In Control Teacher Mode.
posted by sciatrix at 10:54 AM on September 16, 2018 [42 favorites]


I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.
posted by honeybee413 at 10:57 AM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


I ran across this the other day and laughed and laughed, especially when dudes replied to the thread demonstrating exactly how they fit the categories.
posted by rtha at 11:10 AM on September 16, 2018 [15 favorites]


Best.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2018


For me it was the problem and warning for #7 that finally made me lose it. @shrewshrew at her best.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2018 [6 favorites]


I was trying to figure out how I felt about this being created by a man and a woman but then posted on the man's Twitter account, but then realized that it's Twitter and being a woman on Twitter with a very popular post that attracts a lot of these exact same replies would probably not be a positive thing. That just says everything about this particular problem, that it creates spaces where having a voice requires an uphill slog.
posted by Sequence at 11:24 AM on September 16, 2018 [17 favorites]


This is everything.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 1:27 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


My cup of male tears overfloweth. Fucking hilarious.
posted by clseace at 1:30 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


Can someone please explain to me what on earth the Cookie Manster is exactly? I mean, obviously it's a dude in STEM who's Lawful Neutral, but details please?

Actually you know what? Can we get a detailed description for all of those personality profiles?
posted by Delia at 3:42 PM on September 16, 2018


this delights me so much it actually gives me the goosebumps every time i read it
posted by Hermione Granger at 3:43 PM on September 16, 2018


If you keep scrolling down, Delia, there are examples for all of them, and some description, but here's the Cookie Manster. The examples given are all a bit hyperbolic to make the point, but the gist of that one is "okay, I wasn't terrible, where's my cookie"--guys who do some really low-effort stuff and then want to be praised/rewarded for their devotion to the cause, who need regular validation in order to continue helping, who push for allies to get recognition of their own in spaces that aren't supposed to be about the allies.

That one could probably do better explaining that's where the cookie part comes from; the rest of them are I think more self-explanatory or include credits as to the naming.

I think it's definitely possible here to overthink the D&D alignment chart part of this. It wasn't created as that, as far as I can tell, and doesn't match up with that particularly well, but it shouldn't have to.
posted by Sequence at 4:03 PM on September 16, 2018 [9 favorites]


I had never heard the term "Sea Lion", though I've often seen this:

"Would you answer my endless bad-faith questions? If you don't you're admitting I'm right."
posted by eye of newt at 4:19 PM on September 16, 2018 [8 favorites]


The Cookie Manster took me a minute to understand but once I did I think this is the one that pisses me off the most. Guys who want a cookie because they would totally have “beat that guy up” or even just guys who want a cookie for the teeniest respect given for women, which is usually couched by talking about how the women in their life would never put up with street harassment.

This is so great and as usual while reading the replies I am happy I chose a super fake name (male) and signed up via a burner Tutamail account. I feel somewhat safer and it’s kind of weird how I can feel the weight of male authority it confers on me when I reply to someone on Twitter. That I have to do that really pisses me off but I don’t want to dwell on the millionth thing sexism has ruined.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 4:30 PM on September 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


of course someone tried to mansplain mansplaining.
posted by juv3nal at 4:35 PM on September 16, 2018 [5 favorites]



of course someone tried to mansplain mansplaining.


no that's not what actually happened 1/73

i am an expert in metasplaining why do you ask
posted by lalochezia at 4:53 PM on September 16, 2018 [18 favorites]


eye of newt: I had never heard the term "Sea Lion"

The source of the term "Sea-Lioning" is this Wondermark comic strip.
posted by tzikeh at 5:50 PM on September 16, 2018 [12 favorites]


I need a poster version of this with the grid in the middle and the explanations around the outside. How soon can I have a poster? kthxbye
posted by medusa at 7:27 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


Word is they were overwhelmed by the popularity of this and are now working on creating more friendly/printable formats.

(And yeah, this wasn’t initially conceived as an alignment chart. At best it’s a loose framework, but the layout remains close enough that my brain REALLY tries to make it one, and evidently I’m not the only one.)
posted by deludingmyself at 9:00 PM on September 16, 2018 [1 favorite]


What he should do:
- #1: Stop replying, start listening
- #2: Stop replying, start listening
- #3: Stop replying, start listening
- #4: Stop replying, start listening
- #5: Stop replying, start listening
- #6: Stop replying, start listening
- #7: Stop replying, start listening
- #8: Stop replying, start listening
- #9: Delete your account
posted by nnethercote at 9:39 PM on September 16, 2018 [11 favorites]


Interesting, seems like the only winning move is not to play. Would you like a nice game of chess?
posted by koolkat at 12:56 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]



Interesting, seems like the only winning move is not to play. Would you like a nice game of chess?

There is no winning move, because it's not a game. Of course, some people insist on treating it as such, and that's the root of the problem.
posted by sohalt at 1:49 AM on September 17, 2018 [20 favorites]


Interesting, seems like the only winning move is not to play.

Those 9 negative ways of interacting, which lead to the "Stop replying, start listening" suggestion, are hardly the only options open to people. There are lots of ways to participate. And taking time to listen (with the implied hope of the listener learning something) doesn't mean "not playing" anyway. It's figuring out how to avoid hurting the people around you before making your next move.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 5:07 AM on September 17, 2018 [14 favorites]


he source of the term "Sea-Lioning" is this Wondermark comic strip.

I don't see how that sealioning strip was not made up by white supremacists asking that they never be questioned for publicly stating their beliefs. I'm fine with the concept (I guess - even though the comic and the twitter post don't really align) but seriously that term needs to be retired yesterday.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:08 AM on September 17, 2018


Why should we stop using a term just because you don't like it?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:24 AM on September 17, 2018 [7 favorites]


I'm upset that they used a snail to represent "The Tone Police" because I love snails but I don't love those dudes.

These are just so accurate though, it's truly satisfying

(I agree that the sea lion comic strip is... Troubling, though. It worries me a little. It could be ok, or then again it could be not so ok).
posted by windykites at 8:53 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm curious what y'all are seeing with the sea lion comic strip that I'm not? It seems to work pretty well with the term.

>Interesting, seems like the only winning move is not to play.

Erm, koolkat, this comment is reading to me like maybe #2, The Tone Police? Maybe #5, Himpathy? Like if you're reading the Twitter thread and taking from the "What he should do" bits that it implies "god I guess men just CAN'T TALK AT ALL" then I think you're misreading these as implying there are only nine ways to interact with women online.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 9:04 AM on September 17, 2018 [14 favorites]


I'm curious what y'all are seeing with the sea lion comic strip that I'm not? It seems to work pretty well with the term.

Uh, the first bubble is "I don't mind most marine animals. But I could do without sea lions". Is it that hard to replace 'sea lions' with 'X race group'. And then to make it worse, the sealion (who is supposed to be the bad actor here) asks "Would you mind showing me evidence of any negative thing a sealion has ever done to you?". And the response is "go away".

That is straight up racism. It's barely even coded! It is saying "I want to say racist things and not be called out for it"
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:31 AM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Notallsealions/notallmen it is clearly meant to represent men. CLEARLY.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:55 AM on September 17, 2018 [6 favorites]


"I don't mind most marine animals. But I could do without sea lions

I can see the racism interpretation angle now, I had always interpreted it as “I don’t mind most men, but I can do without the misogynists”. Which would have been better captured by indentifying a characteristic, rather than an entire species.
posted by saucysault at 9:56 AM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Why the fuck would you sea lion a Nazi? They live for that shit - “debate me” etc... just report them and try to get them banned.
posted by Artw at 10:01 AM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


This is so beautiful. I should tattoo it on my face.
posted by blurker at 10:06 AM on September 17, 2018


Like you are taking a term from a comic that woman all over have identified with heavily, because of their own experiences with men just like that, and you're reading racism into it to try and what? silence women from using a term they find useful which has no racist intent or origins? Are you going to read racism into the term mansplaining? are you going to say the term Gaslighting is racist? Is this a new tactic to stop Women and enbies from criticizing men?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:10 AM on September 17, 2018 [12 favorites]


Yeah... sea lions aren’t a race, but they are a species of marine mammal that take over whole sections of San Francisco marinas and prompt people who live near zoos to file noise complaints. I guess if I squinted real hard I could see a racial angle in that too, but it’s a lot less of a stretch to imagine the comic creator going “quick, what’s a loud frat bro of an animal?”
posted by deludingmyself at 10:30 AM on September 17, 2018 [15 favorites]


It needs the "I want a better world for my daughter, but..." guy.
posted by rocket88 at 10:47 AM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


I dated a guy who when asked to not constantly give me his unsolicited advice and opinion on everything I choose to do with my life, insisted that I was telling him he couldn’t talk to me at all.

That’s the men who are objecting to “shut up and listen.” What they’re really objecting to is being told to stop doing the described behaviors. What I can’t figure out is how many know that and are being disengenuous, and how many seem only capable of thinking of those style of arguments, earnestly believing that taking them away is taking away all options for discussion.

I was emotionally wrecked and vulnerable when he came into my life, and foolishly believed that and similar behaviors were just misunderstandings, not ways of controlling me. . . Oh, I think I just answered my own question.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:02 PM on September 17, 2018 [15 favorites]


Like you are taking a term from a comic that woman all over have identified with heavily, because of their own experiences with men just like that, and you're reading racism into it to try and what? silence women from using a term they find useful which has no racist intent or origins?


Wow, seriously? I'm a woman of colour and the first thing I thought when I saw the first part of that comic was "ick, racists will love that". Seeing something as potentially problematic, and saying as much, isn't an attempt to silence all women or a tactic to promote sexism.

Accusing people of falsely reading racism into things to achieve oppressive goals is a pretty goddamn problematic way to shut them up (and incredibly ironic given the context of minority groups being silenced when expressing concerns).

Something can be a powerful and meaningful tool that many identify with and still be imperfect or potentially hurtful and open for discussion. Nobody here is saying sexism isn't real or doesn't matter but some people are saying "this is the same approach that racists use to try and justify their shitty behaviour so maybe we need to rethink that piece".
posted by windykites at 2:21 PM on September 17, 2018 [10 favorites]


Wondermark addressed the idea that it might be intended to represent some kind of defense of racism, nearly four years ago. It was, in fact, an argument a lot of the metaphorical kinds of sea lions tried to use to shut down the idea that it was a valid notion to be used again, for example, GamerGate supporters, since that was a very big thing going on at the time.

So I think the same comment can totally be made in good faith, but yeah, it's just imperfect framing. It's meant to be more along the lines of "I don't mind men categorically but I can do without MRAs/GGers/the alt-right/etc". Racists really didn't actually in-good-faith take to this, as far as I can tell, because very few minority groups actually use these tactics to respond to hate against those groups in quantities large enough to be disruptive.
posted by Sequence at 3:14 PM on September 17, 2018 [14 favorites]


Bad faith responses by gg-ers/nazis/trolls etc. tend towards the maximalist so in practice they are going to zoom right past complaints of sealioning to “help, help, I’m being harassed and doxxed!!!” the moment they get any pushback.
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2018 [4 favorites]


I think anyone trying to call out Nazis and other racists with sealion techniques, pestering them to explain all their racist ideas over and over and debate the evidence that racist beliefs are true and justified, might want to consider changing their tactics.
posted by straight at 4:32 PM on September 17, 2018


The sealion comic has an inside-baseball quality in that the character's specific lines sort of pattern-match onto the type of person it's meant to parody: the treatment of absolutely everything as a matter of ~debate~ that supercedes any possible other concern, such as empathy.

So without that context, I can definitely see how it looks like one could swap in any possible group for the sealions, and I think I might have had a negative reaction to it when I first read it many years ago. The final panel's "Told you, dude" is meant to show the circularity of the problems with that type of behavior... perhaps a longer version of the comic would somehow explain that sealions behave that way for social/cultural reasons, that they're a dominant group in that universe, I dunno.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 5:34 PM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


well actually, i like the sea lion comic, if you take it out of the mysogeny of communication context in which we found it here and put it into a racism/prejudice context it's still a good comic but it then shows a different phenomina. like using a mirror to reflect the sun and illuminate a dark patch in front of you instead of reflecting your own image.... now where's my cookie? oh... wait... :(
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 9:42 AM on September 18, 2018


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