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Author Topic: swan songs
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 21 October 2003 06:19 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: audra estrones ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 02:25 AM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 22 October 2003 08:17 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just posting to get rid of the side scroll on Today Active Topics.
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dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 01:54 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 22 October 2003 02:08 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Who writes the dictionaries? Men.

The editor-in-chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary is Katherine Barber. Perhaps his parents really wanted a girl.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 02:10 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 22 October 2003 02:14 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh. Katharine is a womans name?

Seriously though. I am sure that there is more than just one.


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 02:24 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 22 October 2003 02:33 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, if you want to get rid of gendered language, you could start with "The Goddess".

And in the interest of evening the score with regard to terms like "manhole" or "manual labour", I'd happily support the switch to words like "womaniac", "womenial" and "womenstruation".


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Sara Mayo
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posted 22 October 2003 02:34 PM      Profile for Sara Mayo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There are 40 women in the 61 member editorial team that puts together the Oxforf English Dictionary.

The most popular dictionary in Quebec, Le Multi, is written by one woman, Marie-va de Villers.

dianal, while I agree that historically dictionaries have been the sole domain of men, but things have changed dramatically over the last 30 years. To imply that women have no input into the codyfiyng of language today is wrong.

It is also not a very persuasuasive argument for your point. As you know, one of the many myths about feminism is that is it about showing how women are better than men. When we make arguments about dismissing definitions because they are written by men, we are implying that only women can write a proper definition, and we are playig right into the stereotype. Certainly a person's socio-economic status and life history will colour their conceptulization of certain words. But I would much more trust a definition of feminism written by Jack Layton than Margaret Thatcher (to pick a random example). It's not black and white, it's not just about gender.


From: "Highways are monuments to inequality" - Enrique Penalosa | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
HeywoodFloyd
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posted 22 October 2003 02:35 PM      Profile for HeywoodFloyd     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I hear ya BUT is she and other women there creating the definitions?

In her case yes. She caused a big stink when she changed the definition of marriage to a union between two people.

Manhole cover? Honestly, not really a big deal. The important ones are mostly fixed (Firefighter, police office, town councillor). What may be a good fight would be to change the names of the jobs that traditionally have been womens roles to remove the lingual and cultural sexism that exists around these roles. Instead of Nurse, how about Medical Technican?


From: Edmonton: This place sucks | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 02:52 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 October 2003 03:03 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mr Magoo, manhole does refer to a man (the worker) but manual labour etc refers to "hand" and menstruation to month.

Word-related fields are more and more women-dominated, but like most other professions that are "feminised", tend to lose power and prestige - so many of us work freelance under VERY precarious circumstances.

Lexicographers are supposed to rely most of all on usage of the language - obviously there often have been volontaristic moves to impose
language found less offensive or oppressive for many reasons.

In English we'd been saying postperson ... but in French it is a facteur or factrice, depending on the sex of the person delivering the post. A major difference is that for us a major part of non-sexist language is making women visible, while in English you see the opposite trend, such as calling women "actors", saying there is no reason to identify or distinguish the sex of the thespian. (Say THAT 5 times fast !)

Dianal, I'll forgive you for the crone stuff, but anyone who calls me that will get my attack cat sicced on them forthwith .


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 22 October 2003 03:04 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would much rather put up with the insignificant issue of the term "nurse" when seeking care, than to try and put my faith in a "medical technician." God knows where their hands have been.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 03:30 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 October 2003 03:40 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Dianal, I suspect there is a whole Weather Underground, or Black Block, of attack cats. I know about the crone stuff. I am ideologically and politically very much opposed to that type of feminism (see other thread on the many varieties of feminist thought), its mystical implications of such vocabulary and pigeonholing people according to age. I am not a wise sexless mentor and would rather die than be such a thing.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 04:14 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 October 2003 04:31 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, that's just me being a hardline, "mange-cur" materialist sceptic (see other thread for the rather insurmountable rifts between "cultural feminists" and more activist types such as socialist feminists...).

Looked at the Susun Weed site and it was as I feared. Lots of New-Agey hokum and traditions cobbled together from a variety of beliefs. I'm sure she has done serious research on herbalism, nutrition etc, indeed a more holistic and often more gentle approach to health concerns than corporate medicine, but it would be nice to see that separated out of the wisewoman snake-oil.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 October 2003 05:04 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm still trying to get a handle on the topic of this thread. Please forgive me: I'm not sure whether I'll be agreeing or disagreeing with any previous poster. But I'm feeling just a touch short-tempered with hormone feminism at the moment, so I thought I'd vent here.

I am neither wise nor sexless, but I am definitely aging fast. And in my experience, any human being who manages to survive to fifty has already lost enough contemporaries to be getting just a little perspective on anything that happens to our bodies that is not immediately life-threatening.

Before I was fifty, I lost beautiful women friends to (in order) suicide/depression, lymphoma, breast cancer, and Lou Gehrig's disease. Another of our friends is being taken slowly by MS. If they'd lived/thrived long enough, all those women would have worried about hot flushes too, but ...

Among the men I've known, fifty-five is not such a good age either. Drop dead suddenly is probably preferable to several strokes in a row, but who would choose either?

My point (and I do have one) is that, after a certain age, sentimental bourgeois lies still oppress more people of both sexes than sexism oppresses women.

I am not denying that older women face much much tougher times economically, practically, than do older men (if they live). How could I deny that? I'm one of them. Older women have been terribly discriminated against by medical science, and that situation is changing only very very slowly.

But then all old people have been dreadfully treated by our medical system, and why? Because old people are invisible to the young, and the young have not heretofor pressured the system on behalf of people they tend to regard as expendable.

Listen up: by the time women are sixty, they are thinking about problems a whole lot more serious than the "change of life." (Trust me: someone tells you that you have an ovarian tumour the size of a dinner plate, and you will not mind experiencing an overnight change of life.)

They are thinking, just as men are, about dying -- or living, living on in a way that means something. If our world were not so mean and tight, they could think creatively about how we live on with each other.

I cannot accept a feminism that does not value that greatest of human strengths, empathy, the ability to put one's self in another's shoes, another's skin, one of the human strengths that traditional "feminine" training, whatever its other problems, has traditionally offered to every new generation of women.

No one, including no other woman, is ever going to make me feel ashamed of being good at what Keats called "negative capability," which is empathy. There is no meaning at all in contemplating nothing but one's own destiny, gazing at one's own navel. If the women's movement is to mean something to the world, then women have got to offer the world something, something great.

Personally, I think that we always have. The problem is putting some public power behind some of the traditions we have kept alive.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 22 October 2003 05:19 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually, as skdadl alludes to at the end of her densely meaningful post, the great waves of feminism did grow out of "socialised empathy" and women's involvement in broader struggles for emancipation - the French Revolution and its aftermath, the struggle against slavery, the rising socialist movement, the movement against racism and war of the 1960s... and the way women's participation in same was blocked or belittled by sexist restrictions on them.

Perhaps my wariness of New Agey cultural feminism is not just because of my materialist prejudices forged in youthful Marxism, but also because I see it as a turning back, turning inwards from a broader emancipatory project. This is not at all to deny the importance of therapeutic approaches that are less harsh, and less driven by profit and by seeing people with health concerns as "consumers".

Yes of course by a certain age we've all lost many friends and know others experiencing very dire health concerns. But loneliness and loss of meaning can be a health concern as well, in the broader sense of health as defined by the WHO, not merely an absence of pathology.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 22 October 2003 05:31 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Och, aye, lagatta.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 22 October 2003 06:15 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 27 October 2003 01:04 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think dianal might want to read this] thread.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 27 October 2003 02:49 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
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posted 27 October 2003 03:04 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I thought you should read it because it made me think of the "my feminism is better than your feminism" arguement.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 27 October 2003 05:17 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 27 October 2003 05:28 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Bringer of Thread Drift approacheth! Make way! Make way!

Why can't versions of ideas (such as feminism) be better or worse than others? What is wrong with attacking one version or another, if one is really worse?

[ 27 October 2003: Message edited by: Mandos ]


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April Follies
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posted 27 October 2003 05:56 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
First you have to define "better" and "worse", which is pretty darn tricky in and of itself. Better for whom? Worse at what?

Plus, there's intense hubris in giving oneself the power to define what's "proper" feminism and what isn't! Nobody gets to speak for the whole of feminism, so unless you've got a serious consensus backing you, it's probably arrogant to dismiss a group as "not real feminists". I know that's not quite what you're talking about, Mandos, but the judgement of "better feminism" and "worse feminism" does seem to lead in that general direction to me.

And of course, there's the issue of unity - a movement with more backers is more effective, so one doesn't want to get into doctrinal disputes over very minor issues, and sabotage the major ones.

That said, I think it can be helpful to discuss various approaches as "more effective" and "less effective", or "more consistent with the ideals and goals of feminism," and less so, etc. How can one decide on policy approaches without discussing their relative merits, after all?

So, f'r example, when I hear a group of feminists argue for the outlawing of "pornography" (not often done, but has happened), I think it's reasonable for me to brand that line of thought as "unwise". (I argue using the example of the prosecution of Margaret Sanger and her feminine-health writings on anti-obscenity grounds - those laws can to easily be turned against feminist writings.) To say their brand of feminism is worse than mine, though, would be going too far, since they almost certainly have important points to make as well. There's a lot that can be said against porn from a feminist perspective.


From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 27 October 2003 06:24 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 27 October 2003 06:45 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
.

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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al-Qa'bong
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posted 27 October 2003 11:45 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So, what i'm saying is: the big problem of our time is not so much men vs. women as money vs. people.

Thank you for saying that, nonesuch.

It doesn't matter if the hand pulling the strings is male or female. The problem is the strings.


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nonsuch
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posted 28 October 2003 01:29 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
?

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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Lima Bean
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posted 28 October 2003 12:34 PM      Profile for Lima Bean   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
In my experience, and in my moments of holistic, big-picture thinking, I see that it's not really fair to wage a war of the sexes anymore. There are definitely men in power keeping women out of power, but there are also so many men suffering under those men that it's not really a sex/gender issue as it is just a general disparity of power.

All the same, there are still issues that are clearly the domain or concern of women. I think things like rape, domestic abuse, and reproductive rights are definitely our battles, as men just don't know or understand their weight in our lives.

I dunno, I guess the point is that there are a lot of issues these days where it's really difficult to point to male privelege outright, because not all males share the same priveleges. Maybe that's why in addition to being a feminist, I'm also pro-union, pro-electoral reform, anti-corporate, environmentalist, socialist, and so on.


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athena_dreaming
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posted 28 October 2003 04:42 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
At the risk of furthering digression on the thread, I would like to say that ill-health is not solely the province of those of middle or advancing age.

As someone who has had a chronic illness from the age of 17 which is pretty much guaranteed to kill me someday, and who has been told by successive provincial governments that the insulin which keeps her alive is "not medically necessary," I can tell you that being told you are expendable is something that can happen to you at any age. You don't need to be old; you just need to be sick. Of course, being sick is something that tends to happen more when you get older.

I'm not saying age isn't a huge barrier, because I think it is. But I think maybe it comes as more of a shock when previously you've been able to take your health for granted.

As I said, I don't want to contribute to thread drift, so this is just an aside.

As several posters have already pointed out, privilege works in complicated ways and depends on many variables besides just sex. Class, wealth, race, language, area of residence, health and ability, sexual orientation, age, religion and other issues all intersect to produce one individual's actual experience of oppression or privilege. But IMO sex remains a key variable among the group. First of all: it's visible, people can almost always tell when a person is male or female (and when they can't they tend to get rather nasty about it). Secondly: sexism is still considered "OK" in ways other isms aren't.

Things like the whole "mars and venus" publishing juggernaut would be considered totally "not ok" if it were about differences between groups other than men and women. At the very least, it would be considered controversial; not self-help. And cultural relativism is used to justify sexism when it would never be considered acceptable for racism, for instance.

I don't think feminism is at all about men against women, and I don't think it ever really was. I think it's about people vs. the structures and systems that reward men for being men, and punish women for being women. It's not and never has been "men keeping women down," at least not consciously. But that doesn't mean there aren't powerful societal structures that put women in one place and men in another.


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 28 October 2003 07:51 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Is this a good time to mention Marylin Waring? Probably, you've all known about her forever, but i just saw the NFB film Who's Counting? two weeks ago, and it bowled me over. I'm looking for her book Counting for Nothing - What Men Value and What Women are Worth
On second thoughts, i'll leave this one alone. Marylin is really wonderful, and nothing's gonna change my mind.

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


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dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 29 October 2003 12:39 AM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 29 October 2003 10:28 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It seems pretty self-explanatory to me. Socioeconomic disparity and inequity in power distribution when it comes to who owns what, who controls our lives, who sets the agenda, what that agenda is, how keeping men and women confined to narrowly-defined gender roles divides us and benefits the ruling elite. These things effect men and women to varying degrees. And of course you can also throw age, race, sexual orientation, etc. into the mix. Unless you're one of those very few who benefit from power inequity, you're pretty much told to bend over every day of your life, regardless of which sex or gender you identify with.

But as far men and women are concerned, how far do you have to go to see what roles we're supposed to play? Spend a couple hours in front of the TV; a few beer commercials, an R&B or hiphop video or two, you pretty much get the picture. We are positioned as narrowly defined, gender-specific markets geared to mutual exploitation. Our society, for all its advances, still tells us who we should be. And who we should be are people who are fixated on instant gratification and mutual exploitation. This keeps most of us from looking too carefully at how deeply fucked we are by the powers that be.

Maybe this isn't what was meant by those two statements, but it's what I got out of them. What do they mean to you, dianal?


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Skye
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posted 29 October 2003 10:32 AM      Profile for Skye     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think the men who are suffering are working class men. Working men, especially in the current phase of de-industrialization, do not have the same power or privilidges as wealthy corporate men.
From: where "labor omnia vincit" is the state motto | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 29 October 2003 10:38 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think, by and large, the average person struggles to find meaning and enjoyment in their day-to-day existence. That need, that struggle, is so thoroughly exploited by the power elite, it's so very sad.
From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 29 October 2003 12:00 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
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posted 29 October 2003 12:38 PM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I find it odd indeed that this text:

"The White Male System - and it is important to keep in mind that I am referring to a system here and not pointing a finger at specific individuals within it - controls almost every aspect of our culture. It makes our laws, runs our economy, sets our salaries, and decides when and if we will go to war or remain at home. It decides what is knowledge and how it is to be taught." (...)

makes no mention of social class. It is not "White Males" that do the above, it is the ruling class. Yes, indeed, in a racist and sexist society the acting members of that class tend to be white and male, but the vast majority of white males do none of the above.


From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 29 October 2003 12:44 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Skye88:
I think the men who are suffering are working class men. Working men, especially in the current phase of de-industrialization, do not have the same power or privilidges as wealthy corporate men.

Agreed, but I would add in a couple of qualifiers. The following should take it as read that I think that economic factors are still a much greater determinant.

Men of ethnic minorities still to a degree suffer even when wealthy. Witness actor Danny Glover's wry comemnts about being unable to get a cab. This may not seem like a big deal, but I think it symptomatic of many other biases that help make life more difficult for minority men.

What if you're a member of a minority religion? Even the super-rich Saudi royal family is coming face-up with anti-Muslim prejudice in the States. Not that I weep any tears for the Saudi family, in general, but all their money can't save them from being tarred as those dirty heathen types by the religious right.

Men of sexual minorities (gays, transgenders, etc) damn well suffer seriously from societal structures, regardless of economic bracket. Being a corporate type won't save you from being constantly condemned at the pulpit, for just one example. Or having your right to marry constantly questioned and, even when gained, under legislative threat.

When you start confining the idea of "vast privilege" to rich, white, straight, "Christian" males, well, then I start to come closer into agreement. But there are always those dratted exceptions. What if you're all that - but disabled, or mentally ill? Societal pressures still start smacking you around at that point.

Now, that said, it is of course the poor and disenfranchised who are, rather by definition, the worst victims of the way that society is structured. It seems evident that a wealthy corporate woman enjoys much more privilege than a poor working-class man. Even in Canada. For instance, imagine that each is accused of a shoplifting offense. She gets the best lawyer money can buy, and has a much better chance of having the charges dismissed. Even if convicted, she pays a fine and goes free. He can't afford a good lawyer, or the fine, and does jail time.

[ 29 October 2003: Message edited by: April Follies ]


From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
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posted 29 October 2003 01:03 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by April Follies:

It seems evident that a wealthy corporate woman enjoys much more privilege than a poor working-class man. Even in Canada. For instance, imagine that each is accused of a shoplifting offense. She gets the best lawyer money can buy, and has a much better chance of having the charges dismissed. Even if convicted, she pays a fine and goes free. He can't afford a good lawyer, or the fine, and does jail time.


I disagree. It depends on the situation.

When it comes to a shoplifting charge, sure.

But who is more likely to be raped? Who is more likely to be told to restrict their activities to certain dates, times, and places in order to remain "safe"? Who is more likely to end up depressed? Who is more likely to be told they "should" stay out of hte workforce when they have children, or that they should only work if they "need" to? Who is more likely to have their worth judged based on their body size or attractiveness?

Who is more likely to have their reproductive decisions interfered with or influenced by the state? Who is more likely to be a victim of domestic violence? Who is more likely to be a "resident" of a mental hospital?

(And let's not forget that women are *significantly* more likely to be poor in the first place, and thus victims of the various kinds of classism that exist.)

I could go on (and on and on)....

I find it completely useless to engage in discussions of "which kind of ism is really the worst or causes the most pain." It's apples and oranges. Black men are incarcerated more often than white women. White women earn less on average in the States than black men. Which is worse? How can you compare? Privilege operates differently for each person depending on the situation. In some cases, the woman with money will have more privilege. In other cases, the working class man will have more privilege.

It's useless; it doesn't get us anywhere, it just keeps all of the "less enfranchised" groups sniping at each other instead of focusing on the underlying issues that keep them "less enfranchised." One of which was and continues to be sex: women *as a group* are less-privileged overall compared to men *as a group.* That doesn't mean all men have it better than all women, or that any man in particular will be more privileged in any given situation than any women in particular. That just means that on average, having a penis works in a guy's favour.


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 29 October 2003 01:19 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would agree that socioeconomic inequities (the class system) supercedes any system defined by race and/or gender.
quote:
As, of course, is the Female System, which includes women from the other ethnic systems as well as white women.
While I wouldn't frame things in the same system-oriented way that Shaef does, I would argue that the Female System does not, in fact, include women from other ethnic systems in any significant way, and is in fact very much like the White Male System in it's exclusivity and lack of diversity. It really should be called The White Middle Class Female System. Poor and disabled women are almost always excluded and marginalized, and women of colour are most definitely perceived as 'other' by women in the Female System.

But, as I said, I wouldn't frame things as Shaef does, by a series of systems, though what she says is certainly true in part.

Like Lagatta, I'm curious as to why the paragraph neglects a class analysis. But I have to say that what I really object to is Shaef's characterization of men:

quote:
There are a few white men who do not fit into the White Male System. They form a small but growing group which is frequently perceived as a sanctuary by white men who do not want to acknowledge their sexism. Whenever I mention the existence of this group during a lecture, I can almost see the men in the room rushing to crowd into it. If they can just get into that circle, they can be 'different' and not have to face themselves. Saying that you are not sexist - or that you do not want to be, or would rather not admit that you are - is not the same as doing something about your sexism.
It says to me that, as a man, if you want to be part of the solution, you must admit that you are part of the problem. It has a ring of "Admit your heresy, and you will be forgiven". It's like Feminism by Torquemada. Disturbing.

Brrrrrrr...is it cold in here, or is it just me?

[ 29 October 2003: Message edited by: Rebecca West ]


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 29 October 2003 01:30 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Urk. After reading and thinking about athena_dreaming's post, I have to admit this makes very good sense to me. Thus, with the small caveat that there are going to be extreme cases when you can say "better off" and "worse off", I have to say I am pretty much convinced. I thus withdraw the contention about "more privilege" as quoted.

When I think about it, in fact, athena_dreaming's position is far more consistent with my earlier contention that it's the systems that need changing. That is, it's not a matter of competition between the people who are, to greater or lesser extent, almost all victimized by the system to different ways.

And yet... at some point one has to prioritize. I mean, Donald Trump may be a victim of the system, just like me, but somehow I don't see us as suffering equally, yanno? So while I'll by and large agree with the "apples and oranges" argument, I gotta qualify it somewhat.

Maybe it's not helpful to put things in terms of greater or lesser ills, or privelege. Yet I think it must be necessary in terms of greater or lesser urgency of specific issues. E.g., when people are starving in the streets, I see that as requiring more immediate action than, for instance, body-image issues, which are important, but perhaps not quite as urgent by comparison. It's like saying that FGM is a more nasty violation of human rights than is circumcision, because of the pain and suffering involved.

Now, on this point I fully agree:

quote:
(And let's not forget that women are *significantly* more likely to be poor in the first place, and thus victims of the various kinds of classism that exist.)

There's definitely a tendency of these factors to stack. Minority women are even more likely to be poor, etc.

So anyhow, I'll agree that seeing things in terms of "who's got the greater privelege" is probably not helpful. I'll instead steal RW's approach, and say that socioeconomic factors appear to lead to some of the most obvious and urgent disparities.


From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
dianal who asked to be unregistered
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posted 29 October 2003 02:06 PM      Profile for dianal who asked to be unregistered     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 30 October 2003: Message edited by: dianal ]


From: There is a deep lack of respect in the belief that we know what others need... | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
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posted 29 October 2003 02:18 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh, I think the concept of privilege is very important. I just think it's really, really complicated because any one person's experience of privilege depends on so many variables because there are so many systems of discrimination and they all interact in different ways. So, for instance, my overall experience of society as a white woman with a good education, a good job, straight and married, speaking the dominant language in the dominant accent and living int he dominant region of my country, is vastly different and probably much much better than the experience of most other people in the same country.

But then there are other girls and women I know that share all those demographic characteristics--and they've been raped, or beaten by boyfriends or husbands, etc. etc.

I don't know if this is clarifying my position or just making it fuzzier. Suffice it to say that I do think privilege is real and very important, but I don't think it can be tallied up by determining someone's demographics and applying a checklist to them. White privilege? Check. Male privilege? Check. Heterosexual privilege? No. And so on ... and hten come up with some sort of absolute index for how much they suffer based on how much each type of discrimination is "worth" in terms of suffering.

And I agree that we need to prioritize. As much as Donald Trump may miss our activist energies in campaigning on his behalf for ... umm ... the lifting of zoning restrictions so he can build even bigger towers, he is just going to have to leap that hurdle without me. Of course, different people will have different priorities. I don't mind that there are men and women out there working hard on body image issues, because body image issues *can* kill. Anorexia, bulimia, etc. That's not where I choose to focus my energy, but they have my full and wholehearted support for doing so themselves.

And on the whole I even agree that socioeconomic issues are huge ones and ought to be a big priority. Because as much as it irritates me that every single product I've ever seen marketed to 'parents' has a picture of a MOM with her kid/s on it, and as much as I am 100% dead certain that being female was a key (if unconscious) factor in my being laid off a few years ago, it's not quite the same thing as being reliant on food banks, and I can realize that.

However--I do believe that these various interacting systems of discrimination (and if anyone has a better phrase for it, please let me know) are a huge, key factor in those socioeconomic issues in the first place. BEing female increases your risk for poverty. As does being a member of a visible minority, or from a certain country, or disabled, or homosexual, or member of certain religious groups, or older, or fat, and so on and so on. So while I do believe that classism has its own way of creating and perpetuating poverty, mostly I think that poverty functions as a way of keeping groups that are discriminated against disenfranchised so that their power to effect change in their own lives and in society is extremely restricted.

Does that make sense? To me, a key underlying factor of the socioeconomic issues that are so busily killing people are all the ugly "isms". So by solving or attempting to solve sexism, heterosexism, sizeism, ageism, racism, etc., you will end up addressing socioeconomic disparities between groups and thus those issues in general. Not entirely--there will still be work that needs to be done on poverty and class issues--but in great part.

As you said, April, those issues tend to "stack." But what is the best way of changing that? By working to redistribute resources to people who have been denied them, or by working to change the rationales that determine how those resources are distributed in the first place? IMO, both are important and necessary, but hte second has the bulk of my energy.

I talk too much!


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 29 October 2003 02:25 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
That journey begins, I believe, with our confronting our own complicity with the system. I expect men to do the same. I don't believe that men can 'opt out' of being sexist purely by stating they aren't. Do we get to 'opt out' of being oppressed simply by stating we aren't a part of it?
I agree that awareness of one's role in the whole structure is important, but I'm bothered by the language and the focus. If we are to expect men to acknowledge sexism, we need to allow them to develop an awareness of how they have absorbed gendered stereotypes. And we need to acknowledge, as women and men, the extent to which we have all taken in stereotypes - gendered, racist, heterocentric, ablist, classist, etc. What I perceive as a 'fess up or fuck off' attitude doesn't really encourage that.

And I'd like to point out that not being raped isn't a privilege, male or otherwise. It's a right. The privilege lies in being the beneficiary of a system that has not adequately addressed the problem of male sexual violence. The overwhelming majority of men are not in any way beneficiaries of that system, as the overwhelming majority of men do not rape.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
April Follies
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posted 29 October 2003 02:32 PM      Profile for April Follies   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by athena_dreaming:
I talk too much!

Not when you make this much sense, you don't. Actually, my first response was: "hey, isn't that my line?..."

Reading the input here is such an education... so many articulate people, with so many good points! This discussion is really laying out the complexity of dealing with all of these different factors and their interreactions. Really challenges my tendency to simplify matters for easy comprehension. As it should be. But allow me to express my appreciation.

I've wrestled with the which-issue-first thing, and on the whole decided that it's a good thing there are so many people with so many different interests, because then we have half a chance of covering all the many, many, many issues that need addressing. So yeah, I'm glad there are people working on anorexia, very much so. I just sometimes disagree with the strength of the push in one area, as opposed to others. I'm always saying that the US NOW focuses way to much on abortion and not enough on other issues, f'r'instance. But I definitely do think having choice is vitally important! It's enough to drive you mad, really, trying to keep up with all that needs doing. (So I 'magine Mr. Trump's outta luck. )


From: Help, I'm stuck in the USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
windymustang
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posted 29 October 2003 02:33 PM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Originally posted by Athena_Dreaming

quote:
But who is more likely to be raped? Who is more likely to be told to restrict their activities to certain dates, times, and places in order to remain "safe"? Who is more likely to end up depressed? Who is more likely to be told they "should" stay out of hte workforce when they have children, or that they should only work if they "need" to? Who is more likely to have their worth judged based on their body size or attractiveness?

Who is more likely to have their reproductive decisions interfered with or influenced by the state? Who is more likely to be a victim of domestic violence? Who is more likely to be a "resident" of a mental hospital?

(And let's not forget that women are *significantly* more likely to be poor in the first place, and thus victims of the various kinds of classism that exist.)

I could go on (and on and on)....

I find it completely useless to engage in discussions of "which kind of ism is really the worst or causes the most pain." It's apples and oranges. Black men are incarcerated more often than white women. White women earn less on average in the States than black men. Which is worse? How can you compare? Privilege operates differently for each person depending on the situation. In some cases, the woman with money will have more privilege. In other cases, the working class man will have more privilege.


This was exactly my point on the thread about men suffering from domestic violence. I totally agree that we can not compare someone's suffering to someone elses.

That being said, I totally agree with you that women's suffering from sexism is a much larger issue just because they represent half of the population. Women's poverty is a HUGE issue that affects so many women and their children the numbers of women living below the poverty line are staggering.


From: from the locker of Mad Mary Flint | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 29 October 2003 02:40 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Suffice it to say that I do think privilege is real and very important, but I don't think it can be tallied up by determining someone's demographics and applying a checklist to them. White privilege? Check. Male privilege? Check. Heterosexual privilege? No. And so on ... and hten come up with some sort of absolute index for how much they suffer based on how much each type of discrimination is "worth" in terms of suffering.
I agree. It's divisive and counterproductive. It's my main problem with identity politics. It's "ismism". It alientates those who would be our allies if we weren't so damned rectal about who we hang with, politically speaking.

From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 29 October 2003 02:47 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Heh, the old "which oppression comes first" argument. One could argue that class oppression comes first because rich white men oppress everyone else, men and women included

However, the problem with this analysis is that it does not address the problem of women within the classes. Sure, rich men oppress poor men and women - but poor women get oppressed by both rich men AND poor men. And if you're poor, female, AND non-white - well there's a triple-whammy happening there.

I've never bought this idea that class oppression comes before gender oppression. Isn't that the argument men in progressive movements (e.g. unions, etc.) used in the past to squelch feminist criticism of sexism in the movement? "Don't divide the movement by fighting for equality with us, honey, you're just letting the capitalist oppressors win."


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
athena_dreaming
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posted 29 October 2003 03:19 PM      Profile for athena_dreaming   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh my god--

did we all just agree with each other?

:blinking and tiptoeing out of the thread:


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
windymustang
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posted 29 October 2003 06:23 PM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cool. Sounds like a bunch of feminists are talking!
From: from the locker of Mad Mary Flint | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 30 October 2003 10:06 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I've never bought this idea that class oppression comes before gender oppression. Isn't that the argument men in progressive movements (e.g. unions, etc.) used in the past to squelch feminist criticism of sexism in the movement? "Don't divide the movement by fighting for equality with us, honey, you're just letting the capitalist oppressors win."
That's a really good point. I look at it more from the perspective of causality. Your basic Elitist Capitalist Bastard(tm) runs the show by keeping us in our little gender-specific, opposing boxes. It's hard to see the common agenda when we're all sniping at each other, sort of thing. That "don't divide the movement" stuff is particularly odious, because it means that there is no fundamental understanding, no awareness that we don't move forward until everyone has a voice, everyone is heard, and no one is drowned out by those who would hijack every grassroots powerbase for their own agenda.

From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Polunatic
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posted 30 October 2003 10:25 AM      Profile for Polunatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also, an integrated approach to understanding how oppression operates means you can't separate class, gender, race etc from each other and "solve" them sequentially.
From: middle of nowhere | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mush
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posted 30 October 2003 02:55 PM      Profile for Mush     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Non-partisan partisan:
Also, an integrated approach to understanding how oppression operates means you can't separate class, gender, race etc from each other and "solve" them sequentially.

I think that people like Patricia Hill Collins and Evelyn Nakano Glenn who write in terms of "mutually constructed dimensions of oppression" really have something. It's rarely just class or gender or race/ethnicity, but several working at once.

Wow, don't log in for a while and you miss a really good thread...


From: Mrs. Fabro's Tiny Town | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 30 October 2003 10:08 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Same time next year?

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sara Mayo
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posted 30 October 2003 11:00 PM      Profile for Sara Mayo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
dianal, I think many of us are saddenned that soemthing has made you feel that you needed to delete all your posts, but whatever it's your perogative. Deleting the title of this thread to make it harder to access is kind of like censoring everyone though, because now otehrs posts can't be read either. Anyway, it would be easy for a moderator to change the title back, so what you've done is not permanent.
From: "Highways are monuments to inequality" - Enrique Penalosa | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 30 October 2003 11:11 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Whew! Thanks Mayo. I think I left my keys in here.
From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sara Mayo
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posted 30 October 2003 11:19 PM      Profile for Sara Mayo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
hey flotsam, no problem. Glad to be of service. Why don't you stick aroung for a while, I have a sneaking suspicion that this thread is going to turn into a

PARTY THREAD!!!!!!

Hey while we're at it, let's make it a HALLOWEEN PARTY THREAD!!!


From: "Highways are monuments to inequality" - Enrique Penalosa | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 30 October 2003 11:32 PM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Geez! Was it something i said? Maybe just coincidence, but i feel all creepy and crawly and leprous.
From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 31 October 2003 12:15 AM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
--I proceed. "Edwin and Morcar, the earls of Mercia and Northumbria, declared for him: and even Stigand, the patriotic archbishop of Canterbury, found it advisable--"'

`Found WHAT?' said the Duck.

`Found IT,' the Mouse replied rather crossly: `of course you know what "it" means.'

`I know what "it" means well enough, when I find a thing,' said the Duck: `it's generally a frog or a worm. The question is, what did the archbishop find?'

And also, why a duck?

On second thought, I'm a lobster!


From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sara Mayo
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posted 31 October 2003 12:19 AM      Profile for Sara Mayo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Of course, dianal has now pulled the same trick on the other thread. If anyone cares the url for the other thread is: http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=20&t=000577

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming: trick or treat!!


From: "Highways are monuments to inequality" - Enrique Penalosa | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 31 October 2003 12:44 AM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[I]The Mouse did not notice this question, but hurriedly went on, `"--found it advisable to go with Edgar Atheling to meet William and offer him the crown. William's conduct at first was moderate. But the insolence of his Normans--" How are you getting on now, my dear?' it continued, turning to Alice as it spoke.
`As wet as ever,' said Alice in a melancholy tone: `it doesn't seem to dry me at all.'

`In that case,' said the Dodo solemnly, rising to its feet, `I move that the meeting adjourn, for the immediate adoption of more energetic remedies--' [I]

A good time for a toast.


From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sara Mayo
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posted 31 October 2003 12:49 AM      Profile for Sara Mayo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Great, a toast before I go...

How about a toast to dianal? Or a toast to babble? Or how about a toast to my midterms finally being over?

Cheers!!

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: Sara Mayo ]


From: "Highways are monuments to inequality" - Enrique Penalosa | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 31 October 2003 12:58 AM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, now, if we wanted to take the children to see a Komodo dragon....where would we take the children to see a Komodo dragon?
From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scout
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posted 31 October 2003 01:07 AM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A toast to seeing the backside of dinal. Deleting all her posts...snort...look at me as I flounce away!
From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
windymustang
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posted 31 October 2003 01:14 AM      Profile for windymustang     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't know if I want to see a Komodo dragon. My beta fish, Boris is feeling better, he has some company with Amos the peace lilly. I believe he's going to live!!!

Maybe the children would rather meet Amos and Boris than a Komodo dragon. The last Komodo I encountered was right here on babble though, but I don't know the address.


From: from the locker of Mad Mary Flint | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 31 October 2003 01:18 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Am I the only one that is having a problem with this shit?
From: Canton Marchand, Qubec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 31 October 2003 01:19 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bengal tigers - now, there's something you don't want to stick your arm in a cage with. But ribbons and petticoats are nice. At a safe distance. In the dark. Flouncing away, loot-bag in tow.
quote:
Am I the only one that is having a problem with this shit?

No. Everyone is finding their own peculiar way to cope.

[ 31 October 2003: Message edited by: nonesuch ]


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
clersal
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posted 31 October 2003 01:57 AM      Profile for clersal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
No. Everyone is finding their own peculiar way to cope.

Peculiar? Understatement. Disagreeing with someone is one thing. Making nasty fun is bullying. Dianal chose to delete her posts and she deserves the minimum of respect. Why are we beating a dead horse?
Yippee, babblers won. Dianal wants to leave Babble, deletes her posts and the trashing goes on.
Oh yeah, peculiar.


From: Canton Marchand, Qubec | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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posted 31 October 2003 02:41 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by clersal

Peculiar? Understatement. Disagreeing with someone is one thing. Making nasty fun is bullying. Dianal chose to delete her posts and she deserves the minimum of respect. Why are we beating a dead horse?
Yippee, babblers won. Dianal wants to leave Babble, deletes her posts and the trashing goes on.
Oh yeah, peculiar.



Yeah, it's childish. See, we're feeling rejected - unfairly, since everyone made an effort to be nice. And there wasn't all that much disagreement, either. In fact, i don't know what her problem was in the first place. Going away is one thing; making a ruckus over it is another.
It's like the party we had in the lab one time, when a very difficult junior tech quit without notice - just gone at lunch-time. We'd tried to accomodate her, but she was rude to the doctors, unco-operative with other technicians, often late, not very good at the job and lousy company. So, it was a huge relief not to have her around anymore. Some people seem to create more joy by their absence than their presence.

From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

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