AKA: I asked some feminists a question, and instead of answering they sent me here. Why?
Last updated 2010/05/25
Your question was probably
(a) not actually on-topic for the discussion they were having
(b) covered ground they have gone over many times before and do not wish to repeat
(c) has in their past experience been a question that attracts antagonists and is likely to erupt into a flamewar that they prefer to avoid.
Not wanting to have that topic derailed , this site was suggested as an alternative place to find an answer to your question.
- People find questions that do not further the current discussion frustrating and are often not inclined to answer those questions (off-topic questions in internet forums are also a breach of Netiquette, so some people simply ignore them on principle). Questioners find being ignored frustrating also, and such mutual dissatisfaction can erupt into negativity that totally disrupts a discussion. By sending you here somebody is hoping to avoid such disruption, by giving you another source of answers for your question(s). 
- Maybe you didn’t ask a question at all, but asserted/argued a point that denied the factuality/importance of the topic being discussed. Nobody cheers at the thought of trying to run somebody through reams of introductory material before that person gains the grounding to argue a topic knowledgeably, so they sent you here where lots of introductory material is gathered in once convenient place.
- Maybe you were asking advice about answers to various disruptive questions, and you were sent here because that’s the purpose of this blog and not the purpose of the other forum in which you were posting.
Whichever way, for them to regurgitate the basics yet again would derail their on-topic discussion of specific feminist issues, no matter how genuine and earnest you personally might be, just for the sake of clarifying some term/reference you’ve never heard before. There is also the distinct possibility that a grepping loon will, via a search engine, latch on to your genuine and earnest question in order to deliberately post vexatious and obnoxious comments that will drag the discussion even further off topic.
Expecting people to drop what they were doing in order to address your Frequently Asked and Answered Question about basic feminist theory is an awful lot to ask of people on the net who don’t even know you, isn’t it? Especially when there’s this whole blog over here where all those questions are always on-topic and the moderator is always ready to simply disemvowel any vexatious grepping loons.
This blog exists to give you a few pointers to places you can find more information to answer your question. Once you are better informed you will be able to contribute to lively feminist discussions productively, armed with facts and theory, even (especially!) if/when you don’t end up agreeing with feminist opinions.
Read about Navigating the FAQs and follow the suggested links to browse the topics.
If your question is not yet amongst the FAQs, please add it to the Open Suggestion Thread(and if you read through the comments there you may find that someone else has suggested a link that fits the bill). Read the comments policy before commenting, please.
OK, then. Welcome to the blog.
- You weren’t asking a question in a feminist forum, so you weren’t disrupting anything, but someone sent you here anyway? If you’re not a disruptive commentor, then that reason doesn’t apply to you. The person probably felt that you were looking for a general information resource on feminism for another reason. [back]
- If you had a specific question rather than a general question, and the person who sent you here didn’t give you a link to a specific FAQ that answers your question, then you may be feeling somewhat aggrieved. Fair enough, too. Polite persistence (“That’s a large resource – which particular FAQ should I be reading?”) should make the point that a little bit of effort on their part as well can be fairly expected, without derailing the discussion. Hopefully what you read here can generate on-topic discussion in good time. [back]
- The FAQs attempt to be descriptive from a reasonably neutral position. There are other posts on this blog which are not FAQs which are intended as general feminist resources and op-eds: these posts are not intended to be neutral documents. [back]