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Re: Sexism etc

Dec 13, 1996 00:47 AM
by Murray Stentiford

Replying to Tom

>>Several people responded to your posts "intelligently",
>You have a strange definition of the word "intelligent," if you consider
>responding to an impersonal expression of an opinion with personal insults
>and name-calling to be intelligent.
>>and you ignored them
>I am not aware of having ignored anyone.

Tom, I responded at length to some of your expressed ideas on 6 December 96,
without anything I can conceive of as being personal insult or name-calling.
Perhaps you did not receive that piece, or maybe it has receded in your mind
in the dust of subsequent battle. I am not holding this up as a fault - just
feel that it needs pointing out.

>>You want an intelligent discussion? Then start making intelligent
>>points *backed by some sort of argument or evidence* - as that is what
>>generally constitutes "intelligent" discussion. For instance, you made
>the almost preposterous statement that most women want to be dominated by
>I said that, in most marriages, the man is more of a leader than the woman
>is.  No one responded to that by disagreeing with it.
> [and later]
> ... there was no sign of
>anything like "I disagree; I believe that  .....

I addressed this specific issue by providing an outline of an understanding
which would take in differences of strength or development at different
levels of being. Further, an understanding that would allow for time
fluctuations of the relative strengths at each level, even complete
reversals, and that broadened the field of application to more than just
man-woman relationships. Implicit (at least in my intended meaning), was the
idea of *equality of value* coexisting with differences both great and
small. I also tried to dissect out the negative associations inherent in
words "weakness" and "dominate" by providing a (to me) judgment-free but
much more expressive metaphor of complementary elements of polarity where to
receive was not weakness, but could have strengths as great as giving, all
participating in the universal economy of energy at every level.

I have used different and far fewer words, now, but that's the gist of it.

>I was simply labelled a "sexist bastard."  And now you
>are saying that _I_ am responsible for the lack of intelligent discussion,
>implying that name-calling is not nearly as destructive to it as is
>believing that there are differences between men and women!

Tom, of course you are not solely responsible, but you do inevitably bear a
considerable degree of responsibility for the tone, let alone the volume, of
responses you have elicited on these subjects. I don't believe you were
being *deliberately* provocative at all, but the effects of some of the
things you said a week and more ago, definitely got me stirred up into
writing mode, and that doesn't happen very often. And they clearly stirred a
lot of other people, too.

It was particularly in how you started. Since then, you have provided more
of the elements of opinion that balance the initial impressions - a
phenomenon that happens frequently in any discussion. So we have strong
reactions to the beginning, and then strong reactions to those, but
eventually, with a bit of goodwill (and there is a lot of that around here,
despite your misgivings), there is often a convergence of views - one of the
most rewarding events in participating in a forum like this, IMO. I see
signs of it happening already, despite the strong differences in approach of
different people.

I appreciate your tenacity and, dare I say it, willingness to use logic.
I've had to re-read some of your sentences several times! :-) And, blow me
down, but I reckon there's a feeling human being in there after all, though
that's a sexist comment whose ramifications could branch out to embrace the
whole universe! :-)  Like everything, of course. Nothing escapes the great
fractal of nature.

Anyway, if you would like a copy of my original message on this subject, I
would be happy to send it to you privately.


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