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Shakesville, originally Shakespeare's Sister, is a long-running feminist blog started by Melissa McEwan. It began to go off the rails during 2008, when McEwan, who was volunteering for John Edwards' presidential campaign, was stalked by right-wingers.

Melissa's commenting policy and moderation became increasingly arbitrary and abusive in the name of preserving a “safe space”. Finally, in 2009, her co-mods put up the infamously culty "All In" post, basically demanding that commenters sign an oath to police their language nigh unto death. Since then, language restrictions have become ever tighter, commenters have been screamed at for saying perfectly innocuous things, and Melissa and the mods insist that all their comments be viewed in a good faith they are unwilling to extend to others.

Various critiques from former SV commenters and co-bloggers, and from some who had long disliked the place, after the “All In” Rubicon was crossed:

Melissa also frequently begs for money for sitting at home, having her co-bloggers do most of the work, and occasionally posting a cat video or grabbing links to other people's posts for “blogarounds.” Doing all this, you see, is "a feminist act“. Infamously, co-blogger Paul the Spud once encouraged a woman who was down to her last $5 in child support to contribute that money to Shakesville, saying, “No amount is too small.”

There have been several Tumblrs that allow frustrated SV commenters and lurkers to vent and call out the blog on its fails. STFU Shakesville and Shakesfail posted updates on Shakesville until summer 2013, when they closed. Drink the Shaker Kool-Aid took their place and lasted until October 2014. However, before it closed it posted the Circle Time thread, in which dozens of people described how McEwan had bullied them and driven them from the Shakesville community.

Gentlefailers have mocked what is known on the meme as “Shakes'n'Cries Ville” countless times. Examples:

I think my breaking point … was an old Shakesville post where someone quoted a lyric from Porgy and Bess — “If your daddy is rich and your mama's good looking / hush, little baby, don't you cry” — with a trigger warning for “classism and objectification of women.” At some point you just need to admit that it's not about protecting other people from being hurt by offensive material, it's about scoring cookies for yourself.

In which Melissa once again insists that her job is the hardest in the world and that she and Shakesville are not the same entity, even though the slightest disagreement with Melissa will get you banned from Shakesville. For those who don't want to read, the TL;DR is: “Sometimes, people get mad that Shakesville is not covering something or do not credit me instead of Shakesville in general. This dehumanizes me and is a terrible evil.”

Also, a commenter who tries to express support of Melissa is attacked: “Jokes about “elves” aren't funny. They're fucking dehumanizing.”

shakesville.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/28 18:54 (external edit)