Update [2007-4-14 23:19:14 by Steven D]: I’ve sent emails to all of the A-List bloggers listed below at the contact email addresses listed at their blogs, with a link to this post, and a request that they consider responding to what Kos wrote about Kathy Sierra. Hopefully those emails will be read by the persons to whom I addressed them.

Dear A-List Bloggers (including, but not limited to, Atrios, Joshua Micah Marshall, Jane Hamsher, Arianna Huffington, John Amato, Glenn Greenwald and John Aravosis):

Surely by now, you have become aware that Markos posted some really stupid shit at his blog about Kathy Sierra. Basically, he downplayed the death threats and rape threats she received in order to argue that censorship of online speech is a bad idea. Which it is.

The trouble with Markos’ post is that it was incredibly — well — incredibly misogynistic and callous toward Ms. Sierra’s plight, to say the least. And a large number of us B and C (and even lesser letter) list bloggers have called him on it. For your benefit, some of those blog posts are listed below (via Wampum):


brownfemipower at Woman of Color Blog
Zuzu at Feministe

Jessica at Feministing
Belledame at Fetch Me My Axe
Echnide of the Snakes
Mark at Norwegienty
Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast
Bitch PhD
Chris at Creek Running North and Pandagon

Kip at Long Story, Short Pier
Bruce at Crablaw
Melissa at Shakesville
Jeff at Blog of the Moderate Left
Stephen at The Thinkery

Amp at Alas, A Blog
Amanda at Pandagon
Lindsey at Majikthise
Dan at Fitness for the Occasion
Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican
My dear friend, Natasha, at Pacific Views (N. and I have a history of dealing with this kind of cyber-crap.)

Kevin at Slant Truth
Aaron at Faithfully Liberal
Ntodd at Dohiyi Mir
Trifecta at New PairODimes
Steven D at Booman Tribune
Sheelzebub at Pinko Feminist Hellcat

Myra at Reno and Its Discontents
twoluvcats at a wealth of semi-useless information!
Scott at Lawyers, Guns and Money
PZ at Pharyngula
skippy the bush kangaroo
Mickle at The True Confessions of an Hourly Bookseller</a

WebWeaver’s World
Renee at the Independent Bloggers’ Alliance (Renee also provides links to politicians and activists who post on dKos.)
Terrance at The Republic of T.

A not insignificant group of intelligent, thoughtful, progressive bloggers who have called Markos on the carpet for his, to be charitable, extremely insensitive, ignorant and demeaning remarks about not only the violent and sexual threats Kathy Sierra has endured, but what many female bloggers face online everyday. Yet, surprisingly, I’ve yet to see any of you “big time”, important voices of the left side of the blogosphere (at least, those of you I have listed above) speak out on this matter. Not one post, in fact. Which strikes me as a little odd.

Now, maybe you have been too busy to notice what Markos wrote regarding poor Ms. Sierra, or haven’t had time to read and process it in order to prepare a proper response. Or maybe you’re reluctant to tell a friend of yours that he’s just stepped in a pile of manure and really ought to clean off his shoes before he makes an even bigger mess. I don’t know. But I do know that Markos sure as hell isn’t listening to any of the rest of us, who, God knows, have tried very hard to get him to see the error of his ways.

So, let me appeal to you. Maybe you’ll have better luck that we have had. Maybe you can get Markos to see that admitting his mistakes makes him a bigger man, not a smaller, weaker one. Maybe if you speak up against the reprehensible and uncalled for comments he leveled at Kathy Sierra, and by extension, at all other women online who’ve ever received threats, or been demeaned and belittled by sexist and sexually harassing comments, he will see the light, and come clean.

Really, all it would take on his part is a simple apology, and an admission that he was wrong, and a lot of the anger and outrage he has generated among his fellow liberals and progressives, both men and women, would be forgotten, or at least forgiven. Not that big a deal, you would think. It’s what we teach our children when they are still in diapers. When you’ve done something wrong, when you’ve hurt someone, say you’re sorry.

So, will you help us, and even more important, will you help Markos, by speaking out? You have the big soap box, not us. Many of you know him personally, not us. And isn’t it the duty of his friends to tell him that he’s screwed the pooch on the Affaire le Sierra? Isn’t it more likely that if he hears from the people he considers his “peers” that he needs to make amends, the message might actually get through to him?

Please give it some serious consideration, will you? I hope to see all of you posting about this matter at your earliest convenience. To paraphrase the title to an earlier post I addressed to Markos directly regarding this matter, “It’s the right thing to do.”

So, please. Just do it.


Steven D

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