little big distinctions

Friday, December 4th, 2009

and to continue our series in: “use your blog as a personal repository of memories, and let others read it and not read it as they will,” i present, a chat snapshot of me and erik, fly on the wall perspective.
Feel free to skim or click on through if you are not amused by semantic tomfoolery.


playing the game

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

sometimes i feel like i spend way too much time thinking about which things in my life are the things i should blog about and not enough time just blogging things as they happen even though i might change my mind about them later.

in that spirit:

this morning i took part in a very frustrating phone meeting, and thinking about what made it frustrating got me thinking about gender and corporate culture. basically, we got stuck on a point that we thought had already been agreed upon, and the discussion went back and forth for a long time without really getting anywhere and with no one really feeling like they were heard. this happens too often in our phone meetings on this project, and i think my coworkers are somewhat happy to find that my patience is wearing thin because i was a bit too chipper and naive for their liking during the first few weeks after my arrival. i’m one of those people who can annoy the hell out of you by constantly wanting to give people the benefit of the doubt when all you want to do is bitch for a second. i’ve gotten better at just letting people vent over the years because i have learned the important distinction between unproductive fingerpointing and productive bile. today as we were talking though it became clear that the frustration really came down to the fact that all three of us (who are all female) recognize that there are a lot of deeper interpersonal issues going on in this argument that have to do with vested interest and pride, and our idea of how to move forward is to deal with Those things, whereas the coworker with whom we are arguing (who is male) is trying to play some kind of power game that we think is a big sham. but calling him on that is not how things are done. and i’m not sure i have the patience for this world.

i blame the impulse to blame

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

i’ve been reading more i blame the patriarchy lately, largely because of erik, whose own blog is becoming one of the most heartfelt explorations of the responsible pursuit of gender equity that i know.
just in case he wasn’t already securely within the ranks of the coolest people in the world.

and yes, i recognize that i just introduced a post with a feminist theme by not only praising a man, but also by engaging in a cutesy display of girlish affection therein.

get over it.

i do not believe that the way to empower women is to exclude men from the conversation, nor to refrain from praising them when they step up, nor to shun all girlish impulses, and if convincing me otherwise is your goal, best stop now, for i am a lost cause to you.
please don’t shed too many tears for my soul.

whoa, this topic makes me snippy before i even start talking about it!

anyways, the last couple of days at ibtp have been intense.

stop reading now if you don’t want to be exposed to some rather radical feminism.

seriously. i won’t be offended, and i’ll be sure to send out a memo later if i change my mind.

ok, so some dude wrote in to ask whether he was raping his girlfriend because she didn’t ever initiate sex, and the ripping of the proverbial new one ensued in the comments.
summary of consensus: yes. and the fact that you wrote in to ask about it gives us the womanly willies.

which is an interestingly gendered term…
should i say the wilhelminas?

anyway, i haven’t decided yet what my short response to that discussion is, and i haven’t felt inclined to ramble through a long one publicly.

yesterday, though, there was a post that i took as a progression of the discussion, and it put forth the thesis that all heterosexual sex should be considered a criminal act by default, and therefore any time any woman felt inclined to bring charges against any man for sexual misconduct, the default conviction would be guilty.

if you are not glazing over and switching to lolcats already, you should read the post.

now, it should definitely be understood that the suggestion is not intended to be a stab at judicial fairness; it is more like an experiment in redistributive injustice, with the idea being that right now the cards are stacked so heavily against women because of the ease with which “she consented!” can be used to dismiss sexual assault charges, that it would do the patriarchy some good to have the tables turned for a while, with full vials of their own bitter, bitter medicine beside plates of their own scraps.

as you might expect, once again the comment floodgates were opened, and while i was thinking about what i might say this time, erik beat me to the punch.

this post started out as a comment on his post, actually, but then i decided to claim it as my own.

you know, given that it IS my own.

and i have been at a loss for substantive matter lately.

and it seems a bit funny to use my digital space as a platform for chip commentary while voicing my thoughts on feminism within the reactionary regions of a male slice of the blogosphere, albeit a male slice i deeply respect…

but i begin to digress too verily.

if you’re interested, read the original post, AND erik’s reaction, AND my reaction (it’s coming, i promise!), and contribute to the multitudinous pathways of discussion as ye will.

then we can be as an octopus that just keeps sprouting legs until it can’t move anymore and starves to death while tripping over itself and looking silly.
yay blogging.

ok, so here’s what trips me up about twisty’s suggestion:

heterosexual intercourse?
not a crime.

if you’re going to disagree with me, i realize that it’s going to be there, right from square one.
i realize that the whole point is to consider the implications of the idea that this assumption is fundamentally flawed, and you don’t have to believe me when i say that i gave it some thought, but i did, and i will likely continue to do so, but right now i am documenting my intuitive reaction.
and i’m not buying it.
i’m not buying it enough that i think it’s worth sticking a stake in the ground and saying “nuh-uh. don’t Even go there. not even for fun.”

you see, i wholeheartedly believe that it is possible for an intelligent, aware woman to view the act of heterosexual intercourse as something other than the violation of the female body by the male body, and given that this is the case, criminalizing the act would not only perpetuate injustice against men, but against many, many women who choose to view sex as a joyous expression of intimate union.

and it is from that perspective that i am motivated to enter the conversation.
to figure out what respecting the feminist argument means to me.
so here we go.

but for right now, even if we can’t agree on the basic premise of criminality, let’s just take the fact that we all seem to agree that some level of injustice would remain a consequence of the new law.

countering injustice with more injustice?
bad form.

coopting the criminal justice system in order to make bold political statements intended to prompt reflection on the patriarchy?
there be dragons.

yes, the patriarchy results in many, many situations in which justice is doled out unequally based on what’s between our legs, and yes, it does us good to admit that, and i embrace creative means of jolting us out of our bubbles of privilege, be they gendered or otherwise.

and yes, it could be said that i am resorting to a cloud in the sky from where real action is impossible, and i should be challenged to provide alternative ways of bettering the situation.

but that’s a challenge i want to embrace.

i say we hold our standards higher.

i say we don’t fight back by oneupping the current rules of the game with smirks on our faces, but by figuring out new games entirely.

at the end of the day i want to put my energy towards the proliferation of happy, healthy human beings who are committed to a society of mutual love and respect, and i just don’t think the desire to feed people their own poison is a part of that picture.

the journey is the destination.
the means is the end.
the way is the way is the…


ok, lest i ascend too far into my pretensions, here’s a kickback to the old skool craig kilborn era moment of zen, because man, i would give jon stewart three camels a week and a giraffe on sunday, but sometimes i still misses me some o’ that slap me in the face zaniness, and that there be one of the best slaps i know.

that’s enough for today.