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The seed for this diary mini-series found its fertile ground after a few of us read a diary that included this elegant statement of the problem. We've decided to call this our Listening series. This is the third session. Conversations in Session 1 and Session 2 are ongoing.

"When I feel that I have to walk on eggshells in a diary it is a sign something is wrong. Sometimes one has to say exactly how one feels and it is also sometimes necessary for those hearing these sentiments just to listen for a while and take note." - LaFeminista

Sometimes You Have to Stop Reading the Comments
Hand image for Walking on Eggshells? Introduction - How It Happens - Hand_3.jpg
Stop. Tune in. What's really going on? No, not the other guy. What's going on with you?

LaFeminista was talking about the misogyny on display in online newspaper comment threads, but some have stayed out of comment threads here at Daily Kos because what they read there has alarmed them or made them feel every uncomfortable. Some people felt shut out of the conversation entirely as they lurked, and then left. Some people seemed to shout past each other, while others seemed to uprate insults posted by their friends while hide rating "the other side." Rebuttal diaries lead to meta diaries lead to meta meta diaries. And like a real world bar room brawl otherwise rational people joined in throwing punches and swinging chairs, without knowing how the fight even started.

No one wins in a barroom brawl. Everyone gets hurt.

Afterward the place is wrecked and there is nowhere to go for a beer.

If you feel disappointed, disturbed or pissed off about what has happened at Daily Kos since the Isle Vista shooting, you are not alone. A few of us are very concerned and have started brainstorming some ideas. Send a Kosmail to Walking on Eggshells, with a question, a suggestion, or your idea of where we should go from here.

The purpose of this diary is to invite readers to check-in with themselves, just to notice how they are feeling and for the rest of us to simply practice respect and kindness as we bear witness to what they report, without judging, blaming or shaming. Please don't bring the fights here. We're calling this our Listening series.

Stop. Tune in. Bear witness. What's really going on with you?

Originally posted to Walking on Eggshells on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS.

Poll

Since the Isle Vista shooting how do you feel about what has been happening at Daily Kos? If you're experiencing more than one negative emotion choose what is most puzzling to you. Or just tell us in the comments.

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| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for tuning in. (22+ / 0-)

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:54:46 AM PDT

    •  Announcing a new Courtesy Kos diary series (8+ / 0-)

      The Courtesy Kos group will host the series. The scope and details are still being worked out. To stay tuned join the Courtesy Kos group or follow the Walking on Eggshells tag.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 08:16:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dismayed by the World of "DailyKoscraft"? (3+ / 0-)
        Listening, reading, understanding and making connections collectively make up the lifeblood of the beautiful, vibrant community we call Daily Kos. The interconnecting web of ideas and people form a beautiful mosaic where true and inspired action occurs. Our closeness as a community often comes at a price. In our collective effort to reach out into the dark of the internet and seek like-minded people all across the net, we come to share a little piece of ourselves, our histories, our vulnerabilities and strengths, fears, hopes, dreams, and opinions with one another. The downside of that trust is, of course, when someone who entered our community with bad intentions decides to use and abuse the trust given to them by the community to further a political agenda, settle a longstanding score, bludgeon a perceived blog foe, or accumulate reputation in the imagined blog game of "World of Dailykoscraft".

        ...Continue reading Eggshells Part I Virtual Discourse and Dailykos by rexymeteorite

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 04:06:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Frustrated is one big component for me - when (11+ / 0-)

    I see folks talking past each other I want to step in and try to sort it out but I know that is not likely to help the conversation. So I read on, frustrated and hoping the temperature will settle down at some point.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 08:16:45 AM PDT

  •  While I Don't Have a Faction in the Pie Fights, (15+ / 0-)

    if it seems that way it's inadvertent or insensitivity on my part.

    But I will offer an observation about society generally that goes back over my whole life. I grew up during the 60's urban race riots watching my suburban peers puzzling over how people could figuratively shoot themselves in the foot by trashing their own neighborhoods. Later I found myself as an Irish traditional music player having to tap dance around the local politics stemming from 8 centuries of well known conquest, displacement, famine and here in our new home, "No Irish Need Apply."

    My observation is that if you find a lot of puss spurting out from somewhere, there's a serious festering wound, it's probably older than your personal involvement but that no longer matters. It points to a serious condition we now have to address regardless of who all caused the original injury and the subsequent neglect.

    In these earlier matters I've seen, I've seen it firsthand that some mistaken and unfair ideas are in play about the sources of the problems and the complicity of people in the present. Yet the injury is real, and so when we have to deal with the injury, we've got to find ways of keeping the channels open most especially to the data, the personal experiences, so even when theories and explanations seem wrong to some of us we have to set that aside for a while to deal with the immediate emotion. I'm not pleading innocence on my own part, at least in meat-space I know I've trampled over this idea often.

    There is a well known gender difference about both the meaning and the handling of complaints-- among women as we men are told more than occasionally, it's not always a call for a fix, often it's a need for support and sympathy. There are some possible explanations for that, for another time.

    I was thinking of a possible slogan or tag for circumstances, including diaries, where this might apply. "Sympathy Not Solutions" or "Support Not Solutions." Maybe there's a better term than "solution" which ostensibly is a very positive concept. But something to tell especially the male incomers to check the toolbox at the door for a while. A lot of people have very little experience or ability at this, but at least knowing the needs of the moment when coming in would be a start for the less clueful of us.

    Well I'm far out of my depth here and if I'm blundering into more shit, drop some HR's on my comment with my blessing and acceptance.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 08:22:17 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure what term I would use (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wordsinthewind, RiveroftheWest

    I've been noticing a lot of blogs and comments about the, I was going to say attitude but culture would be more exact, of this site.  

    The overall description is one of hostility and negativity.   Frequently the comments lead to discussion about demands for purity and uniformity, the potential demise of this site, and the inevitable loss of voices.  The causes are few and typically mentioned are things like the broken moderation system and the direction that site admins appear to be wanting to take the site.

    What is common amongst all of these remarks is that "winning" the argument has become the badge of status on this site and that winning entails silencing non conforming opinions.

    This can be seen in the STFU diaries, the various 2A - RKBA type diaries, the for against HRC diaries, and undoubtedly in others on polarizing that I haven't waded into such as the Bowe Bergdahl ones.  

    One thing is certain, that healthy dialog and discourse are sorely missing.  This site, the community, and the Democratic party all suffer loss as a result.  Of course when the echo chamber tells us that victory is assured, the "winners" respond by saying "good riddance to bad rubbish" and continue to cackle and mock away.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 09:18:12 AM PDT

  •  "comfortably numb" (5+ / 0-)

    my wounds are my own and there are being dealt with in a healthy way, ie, when they are truly deep and full of puss, i get professional help.

    i made a decision years ago that i wouldn't nurse negativity in my being.

    that decision doesn't stop wounds from happening, but it does require me to take action when they do happen.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 09:49:12 AM PDT

    •  Welcome kj, I'd love to hear more about (5+ / 0-)

      how you do this:

      i made a decision years ago that i wouldn't nurse negativity in my being.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 09:53:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "stewing in your own juice" (7+ / 0-)

        is what my dad used to call it.

        so, i ask myself: am i'm nursing a grudge, a pain, a resentment; justified or unjustified?

        i ask myself: am i adding to the pain, resentment, grudge by letting my mind focus on it for minutes, hours or days (months, years) at a time?

        am i asking other people to come into my pain, grudge, resentment and validate it, add to it, blow it up?

        and i ask myself if that sort of validation (ie, "i am a victim") is worth hanging onto, ie, what is it adding to my life?  what do i want to get from it?

        IF i can't stop the negative thoughts (and i couldn't with the recent dog attack) i go seek professional help, both with the wounds on my body and the wounds in my psyche.

        so, i guess, the "how" is to ask myself direct questions and answer myself as honestly as i can at the time.  i'm a pretty simple person, i don't like a lot of junk around, so my answer is usually: yeah, i want that gone.  i want to enjoy the birds singing and the sun and the wind and this moment in time and i want to add positive contributions to the world and that junk is messing with my serenity and productivity.  and that is place where i ask myself what action i need to take to remove and/or eliminate or lessen the pain, resentment, grudge.  and then take that action.

        "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

        by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:09:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  to clarify the above subject line: (7+ / 0-)

          "stewing in your own juice" meant a person was stewing in their own negative emotions.   it wasn't something my dad, a tough old guy (Depression, WWII) had much stomach for.   we kids were given free reign to express our opinions, but not a lot of room to pout or whine.  i was great at slamming doors until i discovered i could argue with him instead.  we argued until pretty much the day or two before he passed.  one of his last words to me were: "I said 'north,' you said 'south.'"  for all the arguing, there was great love.

          "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

          by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:38:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My shortcut method for tuning is to ask 5 Why? (5+ / 0-)

            in a row. People call this the 5 whys. In each instance you ask, Why would that be bad? or Why do I care? By the time you are finished you've taken 5 steps that shift your perspective from narrow obsessive focus to a much broader or different one. Move attention toward what really matters to you.

            Thank you for sharing a great way to tune in.

            so, i ask myself: am i'm nursing a grudge, a pain, a resentment; justified or unjustified?
            Even justified resentment can chew through positive energy.

            "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

            by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:06:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh, exactly. (3+ / 0-)
              Even justified resentment can chew through positive energy.
              the recent dog attack was one of those!  i got stuck (frozen) and couldn't wrap my mind around anything else. it was all so awful i went into therapy before a week had passed.  i didn't care what people thought, either.  a dog attack?  you need therapy?  uh, yeah.  like right now!  the real fear wasn't the dog (although that was there) it was being stuck in the fear, which would only grow.

              what are the Five Why's, please?

              "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

              by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:14:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Freeze, Fight, Flight - all three are part of our (3+ / 0-)

                conditioned fear response, which is a vital part of our most basic survival-based learning mechanisms.

                An example is teaching a child not to touch the stove by bringing their hand near enough to feel pain. It's the conditioned fear response that transforms that experience into memory/behavior vital for survival.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:24:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  read a bit about it afterwards. (3+ / 0-)

                  when i came out of the freeze state (after the attack) my hands shook so violently i couldn't access my phone to call for help.  those readings on 'fight, flight or freeze' lead me to a therapy i've kept an eye on since the attacks on 9/11/01; EMDR, and that i what i am currently undergoing.

                  i found the Five Why's on google.   thanks!   :-)

                  "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                  by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:29:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  and i am utterly fascinated with the process (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LilithGardener, SoCalSal, Wee Mama

                    of EMDR.

                    it is so fast! so many images! i'm am inpatient sort so i'm thoroughly enjoying the speed of this, although it hasn't all be pleasant.   i consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to experience EMDR and luck with an excellent therapist.

                    i know there is space that is being cleared and i can't wait to see what positive stuff comes in to the clearing.   :-)

                    thank you for your questions and allowing me to express myself here, today and in the past few days.

                    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

                    by kj in missouri on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:39:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Peter Levine - Healing Trauma (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kj in missouri

                    Kj, you would love his book.

                    It's describes the symptoms of trauma and the stages at which they show up. Comes with CD and 12 exercises that you can do at home. They all involve working directly with your body, your sensory awareness. Complimentary to any talking therapy, much cheaper.

                    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                    by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:46:14 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  They are slimy and prickly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, LilithGardener

          I had a greeting card once that said something along the lines of:
          I try not to hold a grudge
          They are so slimy and prickly.

          The graphic image was an ugly, spiny creature.

          Wish I still had that card - it was so succinct and on point. However, at some point it seem I felt it necessary to send to someone. Don't remember who, or why - because I try not to hold a grudge. ;)

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:02:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  i join you... (4+ / 0-)

      in not nursing negativity.

      It isn't healthy.

      There will be no humanity without forgiveness. There will be no forgiveness without justice. But justice will be impossible without humanity. – Yolande Mukagasana

      by kishik on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 03:29:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I keep seeing is that the comment (9+ / 0-)

    threads deteriorate into arguments, name calling, misstatements, misunderstandings - and relatively quickly after the tip jar.  It's very discouraging and disheartening, and it's happening in a bunch of diaries lately.

    I don't comment much for that very reason.  I'm never sure if something I've written will be taken the wrong way, or if I'm responding appropriately to someone else.  We say this a lot on the interwebs - it's very hard sometimes to make a joke, snark, etc. in writing with no body language, tone of voice, facial expression to bounce off of at the same time.

    Very discouraging here in recent weeks.

    An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy. -Spanish proverb

    by Spirit of Life on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:30:09 AM PDT

    •  Thanks for dropping by, Spirit of Life (4+ / 0-)

      and for describing what it's been like.

      I too find the Fight Threads inhibiting and a waste of time. I've started calling those threads Fight Threads, like "Fight Club" they are fights that shouldn't be happening, but are happening outside the boundaries most people are willing to adhere to.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 11:50:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What makes me most sad is the number of fine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, Wee Mama

    diarists who have been blindsided by personal and unprofessionally nasty attacks that they never saw coming. Some have simply left the site to write elsewhere. Certain commenters are allowed free rein to attack as they please, while others are provoked, insulted and HR'd into oblivion for stating their opinions. "Walking on eggshells" describes it well -- the silencing of thought that doesn't match that of particular cliques or factions that have achieved way more power than they deserve.

    "...others seemed to uprate insults posted by their friends while hide rating "the other side." I think so-called "community policing" and hidden/uprated comments have degenerated into something more like vigilantism. I don't know what the answer is.

    Thank you, LilithGardener, for this diary; I'll check out the two previous ones.

    •  Thanks for dropping by, RiveroftheWest (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, RiveroftheWest

      Yes, it's more like mob rule and gang warfare. I've started calling them Fight Threads, and that's why I don't go in those diaries. I'm not used to that. It's also why I don't care if my diaries get on the rec list. My recent diary about NRA propaganda was very stressful for me because there were people in it who came only to fight.

      So these diaries are going to be the small coffee shop conversation, between a few people who drop by. The Fight Threads happen because there's an audience.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 05:21:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Walking on eggshells, indeed. (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the thread LG:
    I very much appreciate your efforts at maintaining fairness and civility in the DKos conversations.
    First, I am man and a father to a son.  I grew up in a household with addiction and DV.  These helped mold me in a being a self-described feminist for most of my adult life.  I was active in Pro-Choice and anti-rape groups and actions.
    I have also been a victim of physical and sexual assault.  By both sexes.  In the later, the worst instance was when I was raped by my ex-wife.  These experiences, however painful, have driven me to be a better father to my child, and try to be a better man to the world around me.  
    So, I, at least somewhat, have some idea where the #YesAllWomen people are coming from.  
    You would think men on sites like the DKos would be natural allies for the Women's Movement.  And I do believe they are, but the pushback from #YesAllWomen from these men is instructive.  Many men will not accept the broad brush that seemingly accuses ALL men of being sexual predators, or at least unwitting collaborators of the same.  
    This may not be the intent of #YAW, but this how it is felt, understood by many men.  Being told to 'shut up', however phrased, doesn't do much to help the situation.
    Currently, I don't see much dialogue.  If dialogue is the goal, then the efficacy of elements #YAW/#NAM may need to examined. Can these issues be re-framed to facilitate conversations between #YAW and #NAM?
    The tenor of this whole situation has become so toxic, that I am tempted to walk away from the whole issue of gender equality- at least for the time being.  I am NOT going to bear the weight of the sins, of the crimes I did not commit.  If others don't care for that particular statement,  sad to say, I really don't care.  I'll listen when I know I'll be listened to.
    I do care very much about women's reproductive rights, equal pay for equal work, child care, et. al.  I want all women to feel safe wherever they are and whomever they are with.  I mean this with all my heart.
    I look forward to a time when these issues can be discussed in a civil fashion, and look forward to more growth, more positive change in gender equality issues.
    I wish you all peace.

    "The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid."- U.K. LeGuin

    by CajunMurph on Wed Jun 18, 2014 at 10:13:24 AM PDT

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