Response entitlement: you don’t have any

I’m not sure why lately commenters have been expressing to me the idea that if they leave a four-foot-long comment, they are automatically entitled to a lengthy response in which I address every point. Let me tell you – if life worked like that, a bunch of us online feminist/womanist types could tie up all the online misogynists with really long comments every day until the misogynists were all dead. There they would be, unable to accomplish their misogynistic goals because, gosh darn it, they’re constrained to respond to these super-verbose feminists all the freakin’ day long.

I don’t know where people are getting this idea, but it’s wrong. Even if I had nothing better to do with my time, I would not be required to respond to you. This is not a dialog. This is a place where I post articles, and you respond. Again, that’s “you respond.” That’s it.

Seriously, where are people getting the idea that they are entitled to enormous chunks of another human being’s time because they feel like discussing something? I wrote the freakin’ article, dude. I don’t owe you an eternal dialog on it. Look at Hathor, getting between 10 and 100 comments on every article. If we responded to every comment, we’d never post a new article. Is the illogicality of your position becoming clear now? Or is everybody just becoming so narcissistic that this is going right over their heads? And do you people also complain to CNN when they don’t respond to your every comment, or are you applying a different standard to bloggers because they don’t enjoy the same privilege to ignore people 100% of the time that you extend to really big companies?

And you know why the big companies don’t respond? It’s not just that they have better things to do with their time. It’s also their realistic anxiety that someday some commenter with a bruised ego is going to sue them for saying something they didn’t like, or for responding to one commenter but not another, or some other half-ass idea stemming from the increasingly common idea that Everyone Should Be Available To Me Right When I Want Them.

Get over it.


  1. Scarlett says

    Good post, and I apologise for every thought I had when you didn’t reply *right this very socond* to an post or email.

  2. inakha says

    Its the end of term, and there’s conversely for a tech, not much to do. So I have waaay to much time to kill right now.
    But can I say just WoW. Entitlement is something I keep getting smacked in my face constantly lately. All kinds of people think their entitled to my time and energy for all kinds of reasons and I’m so past the point of giving a rats arse about it all.
    It’s something I miss from my old job, the right to be able to say to a customer, “You’ve just exceeded your PITA quota, now Go Away!”
    bleh. I should stop creeping into a rant and just say.

    …Hell Yes!

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