Re: Reply to(squared) Recent sexism postings

Subject: Re: Reply to(squared) Recent sexism postings
From: Bonni Graham <Bonni_Graham_at_Enfin-SD -at- RELAY -dot- PROTEON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1993 08:46:00 EST

---------------------------- Forwarded with Changes ---------------------------
From: karenk -at- NETCOM -dot- COM at ARPA
Date: 10/7/93 12:18PM
To: bonni graham at Enfin-SD
*To: techwr-l -at- osuvm1 -dot- bitnet at ARPA
Subject: Re: Reply to: Re: Reply to: Re: Recent sexism postings
"Technical Writers List; for all Technical Communication issues" <
From: Karen Kay <karenk -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Comments: To: TECHWR-L -at- VM1 -dot- ucc -dot- okstate -dot- edu
In-Reply-To: <9310071853 -dot- AA08241 -at- mail -dot- netcom -dot- com>; from "Bonni Graham" at Oct
7, 93 11:33 am
SMTP-CCMail translator Ver: acm 2.73 8/18/93
Bonni Graham said:
> However, it's precisely because the victims don't need to be told how to feel,
> that we need to examine the behaviour of the perpetrators more closely.

I have steadfastly ignored this thread, but this made me blink. No,
Bonni, the 'underclass', be it slaves or women, have *always* spent
time trying to understand the behavior of the 'overclass', be it
masters or men. That's how we survive. I think it is time for us
to STOP "examining the behavior of the perpetrators". We know how
they behave.

karenk -at- netcom -dot- com

Karen, I hadn't planned on replying, primarily because you make a good point,
and you did, in fact, catch me in a bit of sloppy writing (I was referring to
observing and examining motives, not just behaviour, but I didn't make that
clear). However, upon thinking more about it, I decided I had to reply to two

1) When did "we" automatically come to mean the underclass? I meant "we" as
everyone, male or female, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, or
whatever. Maybe even especially those who are not of the "underclass"... In a
way I find it deeply troubling that you seem to have assumed that, simply
because I am a woman, that my "we" includes only women and/or the "underclass"
-- that is exactly the attitude I try not to have.

2) If, for you (and I mean both the plural and the personal "you"), examining
the behaviour of the oppressor means accepting it, then by all means, don't
examine it. If you feel that looking at their motives validates what they do,
gives it credence and makes it "ok," then not only should you cease to examine
it, you must, if you want to follow your own precepts. I have no problem at
all with that -- the behaviour of oppressors, harrassers, rapists of any sort
should not be validated or tolerated. However, for _me_ (and I stress this as
personal, which perhaps I should have done more strongly in my earlier
response), to examine such behaviour and the motives for it is to reject it as
rational and acceptable. To examine it closely, not to so that I can better
placate its source (the historical reason for examining the behaviour), but so
that I can effectively reject or avert it, is to _deny_ it as an immutable
fact, beyond my power to change. For me, to stop examining is to accept it as
natural and correct, and I _cannot_ do that.

However, as Tammy has quite rightfully pointed out, all of this is a long road
from "how to be a better technical writer." I'm willing to continue the
discussion with anyone who wants to reply (as long as said reply is not a
personal attack -- I'm not interested in trading insults but in getting to an
understanding of an important issue that is not going to go away overnight),
but perhaps it should be in a more personal forum, rather than on the public

Bonni Graham
(The opinions expressed here are my own, and are not necessarily therefore
correct for anyone but me)

Previous by Author: Multitudinous replies to recent sexism postings (squared?)
Next by Author: Re[2]: TECHWR-L Digest - 5 Oct 1993 to 6 Oct 1993
Previous by Thread: Re: TECHWR-L Digest - 5 Oct 1993 to 6 Oct 1993
Next by Thread: Sex vs. Gender

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads